Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Watch Live Hockey For The Commentary

Matt asked if I had time to attend a Buffalo Sabres game last night, I naturally said yes. Who am I to say no to a hockey game?

Naturally, I forgot my passport at home which is totally uncharacteristic of me, so had to drive all the way there and all the way to Buffalo which made us miss the warmups.

So, the game starts and the Capitals score in the first 2 mins. Then they score again like 5 minutes later. The crowd is quiet, Matt starts bitching about players being stupid or doing stupid things... but he sounds like an old man so I start razzing him about it. Matt's becoming one of the old codgers who send soup back to the kitchen because it's not "piping hot" :)

I've encourged Matt to start doing video commentary on the Sabres for a blog, it was truly hilarious to sit there and listen to him BOO his own team and tell random players how pathetic they're playing or how great they are. It's entertaining, truly entertaining to listen to and laugh at.

You can sense he wants them to do so well but last nights game was truly a stinker. What made it fun was listening to the commentary. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snowy snow snowing out...

It's been a while since I, your Toastness, has actually done anything that's not strictly work related. We did have a super duper golf-guys get together last weekend where a bit of crapshoot poker was played (-$30 woo) but overall it wasn't anything crazy other than a few suckouts which are typical.

I'm really missing the golf right now, as a major snowstorm dumps a huge amount of snow for the first time this year. Didn't even head into work this morning which is a positive!

My buddy J wants me to throw a shout out to his site about online casinos taking american express. I guess it's a pretty rare deal that they actually do that or something? Amex I guess is a total problem to get running with online gambling sites because well, it's way way against their terms of service. Those online casino operators sure are a tricky bunch. Remember, gambling is -EV in terms of your cash folks! No really, do gamble online its fun and pays for my buddy J's new porsche -- lol.

In other news, I got my cheque from Full Tilt -- haven't spent it on a TV yet tho... might have a change in finances shortly so i'm being a little conservative until that works itself out :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Karma Is A Dirty Slut Pig

That's what I get!

That's what I get for saying I'm running hot! Full Tilt, you dirty, slutty pig you. How can I run so bad now? I never have 'average' luck, I either have great luck or crappy luck at your site.

Unfortunately, I'm now on my 'bad luck' phase as you can see.

Recent highlights include: 500BB (big bet) Pot getting pushed the other way at Heads-Up No Limit Hold Them when I get it all-in on a board reading Ace Queen Five Six with Ace Five in my hand versus King Queen and he spikes a 2-outer Queen with one card to come. That couldn't happen in the typical pot, had to be a deep one right?

So, Full Tilt, you dirty bugger... I run so bad I withdrew 2/3 of my 'roll' there. HA! That's what you get! I take my poker winning's like a scared girl! It no longer sits in your bank account collecting you interest which funds Phil Ivey's insane craps habit. In fact, I'm trying to figure out what to spend it on. Suggestions welcome. Hookers & Blow are not going to happen, Matt you saucy boy.

Last night I dropped down to 6-max to kill an hour and hopefully 'wind down' from the day. Luck changed after withdrawal? Hell no. 4-buyins to the wind, baby.

My AA goes down to 2 5 suited when he raised a 9 5 3 (no flush) flop, I 3-bet him nearly pot and he spiked a deuce on the turn. Feh.

I get it all-in preflop with 88 v TT (ok this one was my bad :P)

I call a squeeze 3-bet on the button with Ten 8 suited getting 2:1 about 160 big bets deep. Flop is 7 9 9. I call a small bet. Turn is a J (yoink!) so I have a straight. He bets and I raise his hopeful overpair. He waits a few seconds and jams it all-in and I snap-call. Yep, I'm drawing dead, he had JJ. DOH.

Anyway, is that bad play? I spose it is a little questionable on that last one but that's a pretty nasty cooler of a card. Oh well. So my account is down another 4 buy ins and I'm going to attempt to not play much but we'll see how that works out. :)

PS. I still love you Full Tilt Poker. xoxoxo. Please turn on my boomswitch again just a little so I won't tilt off all my money through pure hatred of your dirty rigged luck system, thanks m'kay.

PPS. This post was written so Harry could understand some of it, I hope. Might need a Matty translation again though.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Steve's Home Game

After a few weeks of trying, we finally got the home game to run last night. Steve was gracious enough to plan and host it, and there was no lack of action at all!

In addition to Steve and myself, the cast of characters included Ryan, Mike, Cory and two new faces who I hadn't yet played with, one I'll refer to as Smokey and the other as The Magician.

I broke out the new poker chips and Party Poker playing cards for this game -- love the new chips btw... very swank.

7 handed, everyone buys in for $40 or $50 and it's a $0.25/$0.50 blind cash game.

Notable things I remember:

First hand, I turn top two with 9To vs Ryan who has A9 and he pays off my modest river bet. Nothing better than getting Ryan stuck though... well, except getting Matt stuck.

Pocket Kings in big blind. Cory raises on my left UTG and all fold around to me. I make it $7 and he calls. Flop is K Q 7 all hearts. I think for a sec and lead $10 not wanting to let a heart peel off freely. He takes a minute before making it $30. At this point, I know I'm out of practice at live poker because I start counting out chips and my hand gives an adrenaline-rush-driven shake. Quickly i remove my hand from my chips and say all-in. He insta-mucks and I'm not pleased with myself for that tell. Oh well, I'm ahead early.

My next notable hand is against Smokey. I limp KQs UTG, couple callers and around to Smokey who pops it to $3.50. I think he might be trying to pick up the pot so I call him. Flop is Q 9 5, he checks, I check. Turn is a total blank. He bets $25 and I snap call thinking he's all in. I flip my hand and he's got another $10 behind for the river. His JJ is toast and I missed out on some value -- I'm a donkey.

Smokey and the Magician go to war next on an AKx flop, smokey fires 3 streets with 88 and catches a 2-outer on the river to win a full stack. Sick beat.

I limp 55 in MP, Cory raises the button to $3.50, one caller, I call. Flop is A x 5 I check call $7ish. Turn is a blank I check he checks. River is unimportant, I bet $25 and he calls. I win against I assume AT or so.

Next hand I call a minraise with 77. Checkraised another set on the flop and take it down.

Oh, here's one hand that was actually quite interesting.

Ryan opens to $2.50, I make it $7.50 in position with JJ. All fold and he calls. Flop is KQQ. He leads for $8.50. Now... I ask myself what he leads that flop with. I've seen him fastplay a set before, but normally he's trappy. So I flat-call putting him on air, a weak king, a queen or an underpair trying to rep a king -- will evaluate the turn action.

Turn is a T. He leads for $14. At this point I'm throwing out the idea of an underpair, as I think he has to stick me on a King or possibly a queen. He's trying to represent strength, which he knows I'll perceive as weakness, so he knows that I'll often raise with less than a King to push him off his king so therefore his hand shows more strength. I think we've played together enough that I can assume "levelling" like this is realistic. I ask for a countdown and he has $54 behind so it's relatively deep. I think a straight on the river makes my hand good most times as I dont think he has a boat, but being this deep I think he only calls with a better hand and folds weaker ones so pushing is out. At this point the pot is $45ish and the bet is $14 to me. Getting 3:1 with 10 outs (straight and two jacks) I only have 20% knowing he'll often push a non-scary river with air or the nuts, but not if a straight card comes down with air. So I can't show down my JJ without getting all-in unless I make my hand. I decide, for this reason, to fold. Ryan shows complete air (23s i believe) and gets a few oohs and aahs from the table. I couldn't really stick him on a hand here so just decided not to play for a stack in way-ahead or way-behind situation and I think i'm ok with that. Nicely played hand though from him.

This is the only notable hand I lost, outside of folding to a few turn bets.

Maybe next game i'll show a bit more speed with the post flop, but for this game I think I played fairly optimally. Cashed out +$100 on the nose on a $50 buyin so that's pretty good, though I ran hot with 3-sets.

I think in all there were 4-5 rebuys making the total in-play around $500 which isn't too bad for a little home game fun. That's it folks, thanks again to Steve for hosting the game.

Monday, November 24, 2008

45-Man SNGs? Oy Vey Am I Bored Or What?

I really must be bored. As noted previously in this fine blog, I flippin' HATE poker tournaments for the most part but for some reason I found some patience this weekend. I think a recent tough run at the swingy swongy heads up no-limit-sized wagering hold them pokar has encouraged a brief stint in the land o' donk.

I have to believe the tournament players when they say most low limit tournaments are still FULL of donkeys... hell... all the people I know who play poker think that single table sit&go's with their friends = poker.

Playing for cash, what are you a degenerate?

Anyway, I played 2 45-man SNG's. Couldn't take a really huge 4-5 hour donkament only to bust just inside the money. So top 6 pay of 45, weighting towards the top 3 obviously.

1st one I busto half way through. Typical.

2nd one I am chipleader coming to final table. I knock off a few, other people knock off a few and we're down to the money.

Bubble bursts, and I lose a big pot on a bad beat to be middle of the pack.

I then play pushbot poker for a bit to steal the blinds and limpers money and eventually work my way up to chiplead with 3 to go.

I'm pushing these guys around with my aggression but one finally calls me and I lose a flip to go from 1st to 3rd. I grind this back to T2nd and bad-beat a guy with my 22 v KK on the river (deuce on the river, baby). I go back to chiplead only to lose it again when the blinds were high and I was stealing every chip again. Lost with the worst hand (A2 < 33 who knew?) and I'm back to 3rd again. I again steal everything and move back to 1st only to lose another flip to the same guy and back to 3rd, finally busting when I pushed K6 from the SB into 88 in the BB. Sigh. Really wanted to win this and was only playing for first.

I know I just made a lot of sit-and-go pros laugh with how seriously I took one stupid SNG but i have to say the 45man format is pretty fun.

Supposedly I have a home game this week with Steve G, The Golf Pros & a few others but we'll see if it goes. Matt's still on diaper duty so won't be joining us quite yet.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My New Poker Chips

A few posts ago I talked about looking for New Poker Chips and I did pick some out. Check it out. Yes, they're sexy. I really like how they're unique colours, not the same old stuff I see at home games.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Heads Up Is Swingy and Tilty

So, since I'm still working like a dog and unable to reboot into my windows / hold'em manager (I use a macbook pro) I'm stuck playing under my OS X side without a HUD. My game of choice under these conditions is heads-up 1 or 2 tabling. HU requires reads and while stats would be nice, I don't see myself playing more than 2 tables well. 6-max seems like paint by numbers compared to HU. What a game!

I've referred to heads up hold'em as crack in a previous post, and man, what crack it is. You just don't get these things at 6-max and especially not a full ring. For example: value betting 4th pair on the river, snap calling ace high for a stack on the turn, idiots pushing a 100BB stack into a 4bb pot... wait.. no.. that still happens :)

The thing i've REALLY noticed is that people are far more emotional at this game. Taking a bad run and losing a few stacks to one guy is very personal it seems. Tilt is a killer in this game, absolutely a killer.

Chip Reese of course was known as the best all around cash game player in the world before his sudden death. He had a great quote that seems to ring most true in the tilty nature of heads up poker.

“It's not winning that makes a winner, but losing. The excitement is not from the winning, it's avoiding the disaster, because you're flirting with it every day."

Oh, and I am WAS running good. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm Looking For Poker Chips

I've always been a fan of poker chips. I'm not so into them that I collect them, but I do love playing with a nice set of real chips.

A few years back i bought a set of those generic chips which everyone seems to have. You know, the 500 chip ones that are flat red, blue, white, green, black with dice on the corners and a white coloured ring on their face and checks on the sides? It seems everyone has that same set around here, though they aren't bad (actually they're quite good)... they're just SO common and I'm always trying to be difficult... here they are.

So it came to be time for me to look around at poker chips online. A good resource for chip info is Home Poker Forum at TwoPlusTwo of course. Man, people spend some ridiculous amount of money on chips!

Anyways, in my searching a pretty cool store came up that has a tonne of nice poker chips. It's over at Nevada Jacks. Check it out. I particularly like the clays but I think the composites might be a better choice for my purposes. Will report back when I buy a set.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sandy Golf Courses & Heads Up Poker

I convinced my tired ass body to emerge from slumber on Saturday morning to play with Bernie alone as everyone else was popping out kids (matt), lazy (harris) or otherwise not willing. It was, in a word, cold. On top of this, our golf course has had 15 truckloads full of sand punched into it, so the greens are a bit sketchy.

On to the golf. Since the greens were hardly playable, Bernie and I applied the 2-putt max per green rule for bullshit golf games where nothing is on the line. Using this rule, I shot a very fine 73 and was for the most part stable except for that one dribbler off the first tee with a 3 iron.

Lately I haven't had time to reboot my machine (it's a mac btw) into Windows for 4-tabling sessions of 6-max NLHE, my preferred game. So, I'm stuck in Mac mode without the fabulously good stats software Hold'em Manager. I get too bored playing one table of 6-max for reads, so of course, I do what all idiots do, I play heads-up for action.

For a brief past history of Toast playing Heads Up NLHE cash games, imagine Regan from the exorcist (original) blowing green chunks. I spewed like she spewed. Chips for everyone! Seriously, I can be a little bit too aggro at 6-max so putting me on Heads Up tables was like opening a flood of chips from my stack. I think by statistics I lost 8 buyins at HU before figuring out my current strategy wasn't working. Anyway this was a few months back and so I swore off HU tables till now.

So I join some HU games, and realize that about 80% the players I'm playing against are total retards and the other 20% are decent. Figuring out whether you have a considerable edge or found a tighty is important when the site is raking like they do at the low limits... otherwise the poker site wins and we both lose (outside of rakeback, obv). Normally at 6-max shortstacks are the biggest pain in the ass, but at HU I actually enjoy them. Once in a while you find a guy who pushes every hand, and that's fun but a bit high in variance. Biggest revelation: river value bets are the nuts at this game. Everyone is trying to make heroic calls for some reason.

So, HU poker is crack... crack I say! I can play 1-table for 30 minutes with no HUD and feel totally satisfied (or totally tilted if the cards dont go my way, obviously).

Special note for our readers... Mazal Tov! Matty had his first kiddo on the 20th. Evan even looks like the old man, poor little guy.

Later yo. T.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Failing The Challenge

So, I was supposed to play in RakeBrain's LeTune Challenge on FTP last night. It was a sweet $1k freeroll tourney for some poker bloggers playing two of my favorite games, Pot Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha.

Unfortunately, working till 2am nightly has thrown off my sleep schedule a bit, and I was asleep on my couch at the time the cards started through the air (7pm). Doh!

So, I failed the LeTune challenge. Further disturbing is the fact that my stack made its way through almost half the field without me. HMmm.. maybe there's something to this after all, since the stack floating on its own seems to do better on average than if I steer it.

Yes I'm a donk.

OH, and I'm reading Gus Hansen's "Every Hand Revealed" right now. It's actually pretty good believe it or not (I like playing junk hands too - right matty?). Only reason I bought it was a surprisingly good review from Rolf Slotboom though -- he's read it all.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Diet Toast - New and Improved...

Yeah that's right ... back on my diet. Let's get this body thing in order!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thankgiving Weekend 2008

This weekend has been pretty awesome so far.

Friday night I ventured to Buffalo with Matty for the Sabres game where they beat Montreal in a shootout.

Saturday morning I went to play "Pic's Revenge" where the superintendent sets up our golf course as hard as it can get and double cuts / rolls the greens. Shot a 46 in 9 holes with 23 putts :) Awesome fun. Did I mention I got some new Nike wedges? 52/56/60 degrees standard loft/lie (fitted that way) in black finish. They're pretty sweet.

Though I rarely venture forth from my cave, my best friend Josh was in town with his girlfriend so I ended up going out Saturday night and drinking far too much -- it was fun though and the facebook pics were worth it. I unfortunately drank a wee bit too much and missed my Sunday tee time.... Oh well. I recovered in time to eat thanksgiving dinner and avoided alcohol at all costs on Sunday.

Today I woke up early and played the club... the last round before they aerate and sand the whole place in maintenance so MIGHT be my last round of the year depending on the weather. Front nine I had 8 pars and a birdie on the last. Opened the back nine with a birdie then 3-whacked two in a row (went on tilt and slammed my driver at this point) but then played OK and birdied 16 to go one under, then bogey'd 17 and 18 to shoot 73 (Grrrrr).

My handicap is now a 2.0 index / 2. That's about as good as I've been all year. Won a whopping $5 net today in the skins on my two birdies. Woo.

I'd like to give thanks on this Canadian turkey day for having really good friends and a healthy family.

Did I mention Matty should be a father this week? Go visit the old man who's about to be someone's old man at Now On The Tee and see if he says anything about it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wanakah Golf & Way Behind EV

Played golf with Matt and Harry at Wanakah CC on Saturday, made a few doubles hitting balls out of bounds where I didn't know it was, and also lost one ball through baffling circumstances. I think I had 4 on the card and shot a reasonable 80 on a very fun track. The back nine was particularly awesome with some great greens and hole layouts. Matt has a good review of our wanakah cc trip here.

Sunday I hacked it around the usual club and shot a 79 from the blue tees. Very mediocre golf by me though my driver was still going strong.

Played a bit of poker online this weekend as well. I'm getting a bit frustrated by how i'm running at 100NL. I'm crushing the game in EV but getting the bad side of variance. Getting my money in good though and running over a lot of people, I can't complain. Plus I'm still not losing money (winning when running bad means you're REALLLY winning), I'm just 6-7 buyins behind my expected value which is quite a bit of cash given my meager bankroll.

Monday, September 22, 2008

9 Holes, a Couple Cards, and Shopping?

It's been an interesting weekend.

I get a text from Harry on Friday afternoon mentioning that he won't be playing at the club on Saturday as he was busy playing elsewhere with more important people (not in those words, but the message was clear). I knew our grouping for Saturday was already suspect in numbers, but never put that together until 2am so couldn't verify I had a game for Saturday.

I wake up at 7am for a planned 8:15 tee time and immediately BlackBerry PIN'd Matt. No answer right away but it's early so I decide to sit down at a few 100NL tables (online poker runs 24/7 yo). Made a quick $200 in 20 minutes and left for golf immediately when Matt PIN'd me. I'm glad I didn't show before this point, as I would not have had a game at all. We were joined up with a couple of MD's and played 9 holes of hacking fun before retiring for breakfast and ryder cup watching. I played a bit of NLHE this afternoon and virtually broke even.

Matt and I made a small prop bet, my taking europe, he taking the yankees. Damn yankees.

Sunday I decided that sleep was of greater importance than golf since we had almost nobody on the tee sheet to play with. I played a bit more NLHE and made $75 then played PLO in the evening and topped it up so I made a bit over $300 at cards on the weekend. I've figured out that I'm getting better with losing to badbeats and not caring about the money on the table... I'm playing very aggressive poker with a touch of looseness and it's producing nice results so far. The PLO I just want to learn, and while I still do suck a lot at it, my results are improving. Not going broke with just a pair of pocket Aces post flop against a tightish opponent... who knew?

Sunday I was also whisked off to the local mall by the girlfriend and my other female pal in search of "a pair of jeans". I clearly don't go shopping enough because I was under the understanding that a pair of well fitting jeans were in the $100 range -- lol, i was slightly off. Toast is out of touch and out of style, clearly. After trying on no less than 10 pairs of jeans, I end up with two pairs and, somehow, a new leather jacket. Mental note, do not visit the nicest mens clothing store in town with two fashion obsessed girls unless willing to drop epic amounts of cash. No, I didn't pay for the purchase in Hundo's like a real baller.

That's it. T out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

TWGP - Sept 13 &14 2008

Quick one here. Nothing interesting.

I played the club on Saturday morning in very wet conditions with Brad, Matt & Harry. Shot a solid 74 from the blues with two bogeys the rest pars. Golf is ez.

Saturday night played poker online. Had a solid night, was up $300 before going on a brutal run of variance (ran $280 behind EV at $100NL in a short stretch) to lose $170 for the day. Sigh. Well, at least I feel like I can kill 100NL still though the games have become harder... the bad news is I keep catching the ass end of variance at that level and it keeps pushing me back to $50. No tilt btw, just shock when i dropped 5bi in about an hour. Getting better with that.

That's it, i'm out. T.

Monday, September 08, 2008

TWGP - Aug 30-Sept 1 and Sept 6-7

Whoops totally forgot last week's update.

Not much up on the cardplaying front these days. I'm excited to be watching Matt actually making money at poker when he does play though. Pretty cool to see someone you helped to get better actually reaping the benefits of it. I didn't do much though, just helped with pre-flop card play. I got a quick session in last night for 500 hands where I broke even to the penny. Factor in rakeback and i'm up $8, HOT.

Golf-wise, last weekend I played Saturday and Sunday. Shot 79 both days from the tips at the club and donated $10 on Saturday, broke even sunday.

This weekend I played both mornings. The weather is starting to get more fall-like so it's pretty nice temperatures for golf in the morning. We played the Blue tees for the first time in forever on Saturday as the course was super-wet and I hacked around a 75. Lost $5 in prop-bets when I bet Matt he couldn't make this uphill right to lefter in 6 more tries on #13 which he had missed 6 times in a row. He made it the 2nd one of course. Sunday I played with Matt and his guest, fun times. We all played like garbage (I was 81, won't mention Matt's score) but I won a prop that he couldn't get up and down then doubled through when I beat him the rest of the back nine. That paid my skins entry and I somehow won my #10 skin again to be +$15.

Wagers Update:

Even Breakfast/Lunches
+$65 skins (-$10 last saturday, +$5 this sunday)
+$7 side-bets (-$5 this Saturday, +10 this Sunday)

Oh the big wagers we make... haha. I think a casual reader of this blog would think we're a bunch of poor-assed high school students but this is not the case -- at all. It's just the guys I play with are not the definition of gamblers and have a healthy appreciation for the dollar (likely why they have money to be members in the first place). Now, Ryan... that boy has gamble... if only Jeff would send me the shot of him passed out on the floor so I can post it up at this fine website.

Super psyched to get a regular home poker game going when the golf season ends!

Monday, August 25, 2008

TWGP Aug 23-24, 2008

Going to make this post short because this weekend was uninteresting.

I played 18 on saturday, shot 84 and lost my skins money.

I played 9 on sunday with Harry because we had a crappy late tee time so played the back nine hoping to get a spot on the front when we came around. Needless to say, we did not have a suitable time to wait so we went for breakfast instead. I was 39 for the back and had a birdie on #12 (again the short version) for what it's worth.

Last week I played a decent amount of Interweb pokers. Still running moderately badly (how many times can they flop a set vs. my AA or have AA v. my KK?) but made some money regardless. My favorite hand happened when in my BB I had 82o in a limped pot. Flop was Q82. I check, all check. Turn is an Q, I bet pot and MP calls. River is another 8 and I push for $40 into a $3.50 pot. He calls with the Q for 888QQ vs my 8888Q. I guess he really wanted his $1.75 split!

Things you should read shortly (but not yet):

Harry played Magna and will post about it soon I'm hoping.
Matt played Oviinbird today and I'm absolutely 100% positive will write about it

No pressure guys. :P

Monday, August 18, 2008

TWGP Aug 16-17, 2008

Last week I took a week of vacation from my 'regular' office job to try and polish off a side job that I have been spending every waking hour on for the past 10 months or so. Nothing says dedication like vacationing from work to spend more time working... and work I did. However, it comes with the sad realization that I work better and more happily from home... might have to make some hard decisions on that front shortly...

Anyway, enough of the serious work/life related crap... on to This Weekend In Golf + Poker for this week.

Saturday i played golf with Matt & Harry. Matt is a newly crowned champ on the Niagara Mens Golf Tour so we gave him the nickname "Champ" for the day. We'll have to see how long it stays with him. I started off poorly, 3 over after 5 but got it back with a few choice birdies at 9 and 10, then made one bogey and a birdie coming in scrambling to shoot 73 -- year's best. Harry put in a good score finally as well.

Sunday Matt had to serve his wife's wishes -- i hear pregnant wives can be hard to reason with for future reference -- and so he dropped out for once. Let's not make this a habit, young skywalker. Anyway, I played with Terry M, Andy A, and Steve G and was garbage off the tee (weird lately) but again scrambled around the greens and held it to a modest 78.

Harry surprised everyone with a 73, putting him firmly in 4-handicap land and threatening to get "in the money" in the 2,3,4 bet if he shoots another good score and drops to a 3. He's got a few more crap scores coming out of his handicap-factor coming up so definitely has a good shot at it.

Sunday afternoon / evening I played a long 4-tabling session on Full Tilt where I got behind as much as 5 buy-ins before climbing back to even after 1900+ hands. Whew, insanity. Felt good that I didn't tilt at all, just played hard and made mostly correct decisions. Im looking forward to poker in the off-golf season and am lobbying for a regular home game amongst the more degenerate folks I know ;)

Wagers Update:

Even Breakfast/Lunches
+$70 skins (+23 Saturday, -10 sunday)
+$2 side-bets

Not exactly killing it but I might earn enough to pay Harris off if he keeps playing like Matt :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just One... TWGP Aug 9-10, 2008

Only got one round in this weekend, a relatively boring one with Harry though he kept me entertained mostly. Bogeyed the last 3 holes to shoot a lackluster 77 (note, only since I improved recently do I think 77 is blah-worthy).

I did hear one interesting tidbit of news for you guys who follow our group of golfers.

Matty actually won something... no shit! That crazy scratch handicap golfer who blew up at the club championships supposedly just took down the Lockness Links event on the Niagara Mens Golf Tour.

Good for you buddy! Must have learned something watching the Krayfish annihilate us all at the clubs :)

In wagering news, I completely forgot to update after the clubs. Here's the updated stats:

Even Breakfast/Lunches ( +1 this weekend )
+$57 skins (+25 at clubs round 1)
+$2 side-bets

Also, I had to explain the terms of my bet with Harry TO Harry. That's never good. Basically at this point he's at no risk of becoming a 2 handicap and taking my $300, but he's sitting on the fence of 4 and 5 I think. If he ends at a 4, I win $100, if he ends at a 5, I win $300. Pressure! Especially given his fantasy football season is kicking into gear. Let me know if you want to talk about a buyout and we'll come to terms.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Golf Club Championships - August 2-4, 2008

It's been a long time since I have played really well on the golf course. In fact, all year I've felt like my game is garbage and I've honestly held some disdain for getting up at 6:45am weekend after weekend to go hack it around. So, forgive my attitude if I didn't expect too much of myself when it came around to the club championships, an event where I have in the past NEVER made a cut in the Open Flight.

Last Saturday however I figured something out with my golf swing when a great player at our club, Bernie, mentioned that I was swaying my upper body too much with my shots. This seemed to make sense to me and I made a little adjustment to my setup. What a difference! I played a round at Grand Niagara this week and hit the ball quite well with that little tweak.

So off we go for the club championship round 1:

I start off in the bunker left (as usual), then left again hitting the cart path and bouncing left of the green, and make a nice pitch and two putt to take my medicine. I then start playing well, birdie #2, par #3, birdie #4, all par's, then birdie #8 and par #9 for a very nice 34 going out. At this point i'm astonished at my luck but am focused and don't feel nerves. I make a nice pitch and putt on par 5 #10 to birdie and go 3-deep. I hit a ball in the bunker on 11's tee shot and make a bogey, par #12 from off the front of the green, and hit a ball into the hazard right on #13. I take my double and I'm back to even. I bogey #15 and #16, two par 5's (stroke of bad luck on #16) and I'm starting to feel let down about blowing a good score. #17 I chunk my tee shot and it rolls off the front of the deck. I make a nice 8i shot and sink the putt for a very good par. I play a straightforward #18 to shoot 74. Not bad, not bad for a hacker like me.

Round 2 I start in a 4-way tie for 3rd and one ahead of the final 4-some. My goal is to shoot a solid score and keep my head in the game. I play very solid golf all the way around, making one birdie on #14 and a few bogeys and was +3 until I hit #16. There, I hit a uncharacteristic rescue shank into the fescue right and lose it. My re-tee'd ball is a good shot and I make a double. How unfortunate and I drop to +5 for the day. I play #17 and #18 as well as I can expect to and make pars to shoot 77. Sort of deflating way to end a relatively solid day but again, no complaints.

As I sat around drinking stella pints with Matt and Jay happy that I made a cut for once, Gary approached and said I was in the final group. Umm, what? I said no way they definitely are playing 3-somes as they often do, but I was wrong -- I made the final group on the final day alone in 4th spot. There's something important about the final pairing -- all the spectators come out to watch them from their carts and it's generally a very exciting vibe. I know this from being a spectator in the past myself. You couldn't wipe the grin off my face after hearing this and it got even better when Matty offered to caddy for me.

Round 3 I teed it up last of our group. I had played with each of Mike, Bernie and Jamie before a few times, and I knew being so far back of the solidly playing lead (8 strokes) I was unlikely to catch up that much. So, it was a no-nerves day really. I parred every hole until 8 where I made a nice wedge shot and putt to go -1 for the day. I scrambled around a tiny bit but hit a lot of greens until #14 where I took an aggressive swing and pulled it. I hit a nice pitch but could not make the putt (weak effort) and dropped to even. #15, #16, #17 were all normal pars... and then came 18.

At this point I was far, far behind the leader. Mike had a great day and was -2 so crushing us all. Good for him. So when I say i stepped onto the tee to hit first on #18 without nerves, I mean it. No pressure, no nerves. Unfortunately, my golf swing decided to give me a hiccup for the first time and I hit a nice cut out of bounds right. Wow, what a bad hole/situation to have that happen in! My next drive was right as well, but stayed well inside bounds ending behind some trees. My 4th I tried to keep under prior-mentioned trees but caught a few branches and fell short of the green. My 5th, a pitch flew a little bit too far and rolled through the green into a very tough lie. Oh, did I fail to mention there were 100+ people watching this? HAHA!
My 6th shot was from a downhill grassy lie right near a sprinkler head from which we chose not to seek relief. The green sloped away from me and I had not much to work with. Well, my 60 degree wedge somehow came through and my ball landed perfectly and rolled straight into the hole. I received a nice applause from the crowd and ended the day at a 74.

So, to summarize, 74-77-74. I finished 12 shots behind the winner and placed tied for second place myself. I would have bet a large amount prior to the clubs that I would not place 3rd or better, would not play in the final group. I did these things, I was mentally in the game the whole way, and I could have been better.

Thanks a bunch to Matty the Caddy, who gave solid advice the whole way around and looked more deflated than I did when my tee ball on the 18th soared over the fence. He's goooooood.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Poker Bankroll Building - A Temporary Setback

Lately I've been really focused on poker again. That's not a bad thing at all, I really love the game. I've been playing long enough to see a few ups and downs, and I used to tilt after about 3 buy-ins of downs.

So, I'm trying to find a few hours here and there to play the game during the week. This is insane with my busy schedule but I'm making an effort. Recently my poker bankroll has been going up up up as I moved from 50NL to 100NL with no slowdown in a rather strong winrate. I'm playing well, reading hands well, being very aggressive and picking my spots.

The bankroll is on the up and up, well... it was. Tonight I caught a little hunk of variance. It happens, just a rough night of luck. No tilt here, just sort of depressing that all the progress I've made since moving up again to 100NL has been destroyed in one bad evening.

Here's the session highlights:

Came home from work, loaded up two tables of 100NL and off we go. My goal was to play for one hour and that's it.

Hand 1:

I raise 9-7 spades in the cutoff to $3, the button calls with a full stack.
Board comes 5-A-8 all my suit (flopped a flush).
I bet $5 into $7.50, he calls.
Turn is another 5 (A-8-5-5)
I bet $14, he raises to $28 and I tank for a second then push. He calls with Q5 no spade.
Q on the river... sigh.

Hand 2:

I have Aces in Big Blind with $160, Button (tight/weak and covers my stack) raises to $4 and I flat-call.
Flop is 8 5 7 with two clubs
I check, he bets $8 into $8.50, I raise to $22 (trying to build the pot), he calls
Turn is K diamonds
I lead for $35 and he min-raises to $70. I push for $63 on top of that and he calls.
Flips KK... sigh. $321 pot ships to him.

So I'm down $240 and quit on my hour, bummer run of luck but there's no getting away from those two badboys.

I do my work for the night, and decide I'm playing well, not on tilt, feeling good... lets play again...

Hand 3:
I raise KT spades to $3.50 from the button with $100 stack, Big Blind calls
Flop is 7 9 J with two spades
Big Blind donk-bets $7 into $7.50 pot and I raise to $25 with my huge hand, he pushes and I call
He flips JJ.
Turn makes my flush, river makes his boat. Sigh...

No chance I get away from this hand. Could have peeled one on the flop but I had a huge hand and the flush card would kill my action. I'm ahead of anything but this hand, and in this case I was a 3:2 dog. Otherwise I'm 50% + fold equity against JJ+,77,99 as a range for him.

Hand 4:
Folded to me I raise AKs ($100 stacks) to $3 from Small Blind, big calls.
Flop is A 8 7 rainbow, I bet $4 into $6 he raises to $12 (he was aggressive). I call planning to checkraise the turn.
Turn is another Ace. I check, he checks behind. This I find suspicious.
River is a 6. I go with my gut and check to him, he bets full pot $30 and I call. He shows A7 and I'm Toast. Lost the minimum though.

Hand 5:
Folded to a new player (seems aggressive) with $75, he raises to $3, I call in position with 89 of clubs.
Flop is 567 with two diamonds. He bets, I flat-call with the nuts hoping a scary card doesn't roll off the turn to kill the action because clearly i'm trying to get the money in no matter what comes off.
Turn is a Queen of clubs. he bets $10, I raise small to $25 trying to leave him with too few chips to fold if he calls. He makes it $50 and I push.
He calls with 55.
Yep, board pairs the 7 on the river and the pot ships to him.

Hmm, not so good huh? I mean, how can I complain about those hands really? That's poker I guess, just a bad run at a bad time in my bankroll building. I did suck out once for a $45 profit as a 3:1 dog.

-$430 for the night... there goes the padding on the bankroll... sigh.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Finding Action - TWGP July 19-20, 2008

This weekend my golf buddies played what's known as Auction Pool at my club. It's a 3-man scramble format with players grouped into A, B, C and in theory teams should roughly even out in handicap.

Then they go auction teams off for some real money, minimum of $500 a team and there are always some big spenders pushing up the action. Maybe sometime i'll play in this, but when i'm playing like a schlub there's no freaking way i'm going to pay up to $600 myself to buy my own team when i'm sucking balls, plus having to hack around with some hackers... meh... not my thing. If I'm hot, ok then I'll play maybe. Anyways, Matt's team went for $600, Harry's for $1200 (lol). Total pool is 23k'ish and it goes 50%, 30%, 20% for payouts, then there are side bets. Yeah, winning pays well.

So on friday i'm seeking some bets so I offer Matt $125 for half his share of his team, a nice 25% premium but he turns me down as he realizes he got a great deal. I offer Harry $75 for a half share of his, because I'm a jerk and wanted to rib him. He should have taken it and saved himself $75.

So, no action from the auction. I then decide we need to change the terms of the famed 2-handicap wager with Harry. He's a 5 handicap as of this moment, a 2 is a long way away... so I offer him 3 and 4 as well. That is, if he hits a 2 he wins $300. If he hits a 3 he loses the 2-handicap bet and wins the 3 and 4 thus netting $100. If he hits a 4 he wins $100 but loses the 2 and 3 bets so nets a less of $100. Fortunately, he took the bet so my efforts in dreaming this up were not worthless. Same rules apply, has to finish the season (see: no more golf) at the final tally -- that usually means fantasy football season near the draft for him :)

I made 2 nasty doubles in shooting a 78 at the club, lost my skin money... sigh. Neither of the horses i tried to buy in the Auction placed, so that was money well saved.

-1 Breakfast/Lunches
+$32 skins
+$2 side-bets

Monday, July 14, 2008

Woulda Coulda MotherF*ckin' Shoulda - July 12-13, 2008

This weekend in golf and poker is brought to you by the letter T.

Friday night I got a call to go for dinner at family's, but turned it down as I was on the tail end of a tough week of long hours at work. Grabbed a quiznos sub on the way home (FYI $5 after 5pm is a sick, sick deal) - Classic Italian for the win by the way - ate the damn thing and passed out on the couch.

I get a call at 7, same uncle, same offer. In my cloudy sleeping for one hour state I said sure and went there to eat a second dinner. And I wonder why i'm still fat... hmm. Drank a few light beer, not very many, and came home at a reasonable time, around 11pm.

I have recently decided to get back to being serious about poker. I think it's motivating to me to see my account balance growing, and frankly i've been in LOOOOOOVE with the game for a long time obviously. I'm really too busy to play seriously (a lot) right now but I spent some money on one of these newfangled poker training sites with great videos of good players but I'm hoping my workload lightens up a bit so I can go back to it. As such, I'm going to start bankroll tracking again.

That said, on Friday night I sat down to two tables of $100NL with a solid attitude, focus and determination. I only played 400 hands, but I made some cash and played well I think. Bankroll definitely allows me to play this limit at the moment, so hopefully it goes well as I continue.

Saturday golf started off shitty. Put my rescue into the trees right, hit another tree, doubled the first and was on my way. I ended up playing very well after that making two birdies on the front on 7 & 8 and finished at +3 for the 9. My back started well with a birdie at 10 to get to +2 but then I hit a rescue into the fescue on 11 (again) and bogeyed, then 3-putted 12 from 8 feet, then hit one out on 13. TILT ENSUED. Tried to put my driver through the centre of the earth on 15 after an errant tee shot right, and generally blew up. Birdied 16 to shoot 78, and felt awful. +24 on skins, +4 on side bets (hollywood).

Sunday I woke up dry-mouthed from drinking too much the night before, way too much. Fortunately no hangover. Started off with a bogey, as usual, but then got into a decent rhythm until I doubled 5 and 8. 41 on the front and by far the best in my group (sad). Back nine started ok but I faded near the end bogeying in from 16 to shoot another awful 41. -$10 skins and got the hell out right after the round -- was pissed off bigtime.

So, with my golf game I'm crap off the tee, pretty good with the irons, good chipping and putting. Just can't put it together yet.

My Overall Wagers:

+$104 Live Poker
-1 Breakfast/Lunches
+$42 skins
+$2 side-bets

Monday, July 07, 2008

Double Doubles & PLO - This Weekend In G&P - July 5 and 6, 2008

Saturday morning golf was a typical one. Woke up, went to golf, shot 80 (ugh) but only really had two horrible holes. Hit it into the red-marked fescue (hard to do) on 11, a short par 4 and knocked my dropped ball over the green into fescue (again, hard to do). Then I came up a hair short on 12 and my ball ended up in an unplayable situation. Double double might be OK in some people's coffee (canadian culture reference eh?), but it sucks when I was 2 over to that point and coming off a nice birdie at 10.

Here's where the weekend takes a turn. I had promised someone in my family that I would drop them off at a party and pick them up later (designated driver). So I went directly from golf to their place, dropped them off, came home did some work... went for dinner at the girlfriends' and picked them up. Good deed done? Not quite.

Then the girlfriend and her sister decide I can drive them to Port. Course, this means dropping them at 10, and picking up... they claimed around 1:30. So i drop them off, come home and play PLO.

Now, let me state that I'm starting to "get" PLO. It took long enough, but now I'm starting to appreciate hand strengths a bit better. No more going broke in a deep pot with an overpair for this donkey! I played 2-tables and made 6 buyins playing FAR more aggressively than my opponents. Big pot of the day went as follows against a straightforward, tight aggro player who is NOT getting this much money in awful.

Toast has 8c Qc Jh Jc in the SB with 300BB
Villain has me covered

MP calls
Villain raises POT in position
Toast calls

Flop is 7c Js Qs
Toast checks, MP checks, Villain bets POT, Toast check-raises POT, MP folds, Villain re-pots

What goes through my head here is... I've got a queen, so its less likely he's got a set of those. He has to have straight flush draws here... what the hell are my odds vs. a straight flush draw? Oh fuck it and I get all-in.

Villain shows the scariest goddamn hand: Ts As 9s Jd which gives him a tonne of outs to straights and flushes and straight flushes of course.

4s on the turn, ugh. I'm cooked. PAIR PAIR PAIR THE BOARD GODDAMN YOU FOR THIS 600BB POT! River is a beautiful 4 of clubs and the pot ships my way.

I ran the numbers afterwards. I'm sure every PLO player but me realizes I was ahead but I legitimately thought I was behind. I had him 58% to 42%.

So then I go pick up the girls at 2:45am... wonder how the hell im going to get up for golf tomorrow at 7:52am when i get to sleep at 3:45. Well, I didn't. Missed my time and slept till 10:30am. Fack.

Thats it folks.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Canada Day Wasn't Too Bad

Just one golf note from my day off yesterday (Canada Day). Shot a very reasonable 75, hit a lot of greens, generally kept my head in the game and was very relaxed. Made one 1-putt the whole round which is a combo of being on the green but not close, and also hitting a shit tonne of lips as usual. Just a little off with the flatstick, the stroke isn't bad. 3 bogeys on the back (we played it first) and one on the front, 2 were three putts. There's my problem area.

And that's it.

+$1 in skins, -2 in side bets (hollywood)

My Overall Wagers:

+$104 Live Poker
-1 Breakfast/Lunches
+$28 skins
-$2 side-bets

Monday, June 30, 2008

This Weekend in G+P - June 28-29, 2008

Hi folks.

Quick report this weekend. Played some Stud online as I'd like to learn stud-games a bit, did horribly as usual -- note I SUCK at stud still but I consider it an investment. I then played some PLO and again sucked, dropped 2.5 buyins. Meh. I suck.

This weekend played both days with Harry. Harry has in the recent past been absolutely shit on the golf course. I mean awful, brutal, a total hacker. When I play bad I don't shoot anywhere near as bad as he does.

So, it's with a lot of kudos to him that I say he turned it ALL around in the past two weeks. His post last week about turning it around was met with some skepticism. You know, the same sort of skepticism that is reserved for Matt's driving distance figures. However, in Harry's case, it was for real and he wasn't making it up!

The silly little bugger beat me 2&1 Saturday for breakfast shooting 77 to my 79. And beat me with a 76 to my 79 on Sunday. Totally solid around the greens, awesome with chipping and putting, really unreal turn around. Good for you Harry.

Also, round of applause (golf clap) to Matt for shooting a very fine 69 at Legends Battlefield yesterday. That's pretty sick.

Playing tomorrow morning for Canada day vacation, we'll see if I can take the nasty bogeys out of my rounds and put together 18 solid holes for once.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This Weekend in G+P - June 21-22, 2008

This weekend was a golf only one. No balance in the force...

Started off Saturday morning with a seriously awful 42 on the front nine... might have been the early tee time or something. I then chased it with a rather decent 36 on the back for a decent score for once. +$10 on skins and +4 in hollywoods. IM BACK BABY!

Sunday Matt, Greg K. and Jay B. and I took off for the pennsylvania 2-man better ball tournament. Matt and I normally play this one together but with the new blood we split it up. Greg and I shot a rather respectable 72 (two better than Matt and I ever have) though we had constant tree trouble and weren't really playing that well. 4 bogeys and 4 birdies... bogeys in 2-man better ball are awful and we just had too many. Would have been relatively deep in the money without those bogeys, but as played we finished 2 shots out and frankly didn't deserve much better.

On the way home, my blackberry picked up an email from Harry let us know that he missed a 6 inch putt to tie his match on the 18th hole in his Langley cup match. That's typical for Harry it seems lately, his golf game is not improving lately. Matt believes its because he's deeply in love with a girl who has a "special ability" that has him mesmerized. I'm not so sure, but all bets are leaning towards our friend becoming the next Adam R. or Daisy S. in retiring from golf in shame and taking up squash. At least being new to squash he can claim he's shitty at it because he's new to the game... with golf there are no excuses.

My Overall Wagers:

+$104 Live Poker
Even - Lunches
+$27 skins
Even side-bets

I still feel like my game sucks by the way. But, at least I'm getting my scores going back in the right direction.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

This Weekend in G+P - June 14-16

Yep, 3 day weekend, I took monday off.

No poker this weekend, for all you card-nuts.

I'll start this fine post with one of my favorite scenes from a fantastic movie

Ok now down to business.

Played Saturday early early with Harry @ Whirlpool. I played like poop, hitting the drivers left and low and putts were missing left and right. Harry slaughtered me in a match 3&2. Down one breakfast at the club, which i'll mark down as a lunch in terms of wagering updates. I shoot 86.

Played my defending Langley Cup match Sunday vs. Gary. Now, going into this match after playing like shit the day before was not exactly a good thing. I laid 3:1 against myself with the girlfriend because I felt like I didn't have it. That's the one bet I would have had the best of this weekend, as I got murdered 6&4. Again, left left left with the driver and the putter was just brutal on near-perfect greens. My head isn't in the game right now. I suck. I'm Harry. I shoot 84 and lose $10 on the skins and my pride in my golf game entirely.

Monday I drove up to Sunningdale for a fun round on their Stanley Thompson course, part of a reciprocal deal that our club is part of. Course had a few weak holes but a lot of great ones, and was manicured perfectly. Overall we had fantastic weather. Funny enough on this day my driver was OK for the most part (couple left's) but my 100 yards and in game was a little weak. Took 4-5 shots 4 times to get down within 100 yards, and that is not a recipe for good scores. I shoot 82 but had fun.

Overall Wagers:

+$104 Live Poker
Even - Lunches
+$17 skins
-$4 side-bets

That's it folks. I suck at golf again. Was good while it lasted. I better stick to motorboatin' as a professional sport.

Monday, June 09, 2008

This Weekend in G+P - June 7-8, 2008

This weekend in Golf + Poker is brought to you by beer. Glorious beer.


Friday night I again ventured to yee olde card-room at Casino Niagara. Yet again had nothing to do and last week the game was sooo good I was hoping for more of the same. It did not happen. I sat down at a table full of decent players. Not one single calling station or crazy was to be found. On my left were a couple asian kids, one wearing UB gear. On my right was a jumpsuit wearing regular and a couple standard guys. I can usually tell the real regs by the way they handle chips and cards. I sat there card-dead, and it was a boring grind. Meh. I did pick up a few pots pre-flop and generally had a tight image. When you play 50BB deep, all you can hope for is to get your money in with the best hand, but when they're paying attention to your image and you raise with the best hand, they fold. It was only near the end of the night that some donks started sitting in, and by that time all the real (>$500) stacks had walked away to cash out. I had to play golf the next morning, so I left down $30 and I'm OK with that.


Saturday morning played golf with the boys as usual. My good friend forever (newly minted Doctor) Dr. K played along and we had a good enough time. Was hot tho. I eeked out an 80 from the tips as my golf swing was somewhere touching on good but couldn't keep it there. I won one skin, lost $4 in hollywood and ended up +$2 for the day (woo hoo). From there I had to go to Oakville shopping with the girlfriend (yes, whipped, I know) and had dinner at my uncles there. It was very nice, a relaxing no-work day.

Sunday morning at golf I played with the A-team and Steve G. My golf swing improved as I learned through trial and error that a swing thought that helps me is to "pause" at the top and then get my hands through "fast". So, swing fast from the top, not hard. I played better generally and was good around the greens. From a 3-over after 4 start I finished with a respectable 76 (blue tees with the old folks though). I won $3 net for a skin on 7 and lost $4 in the hollywood. I then had a brief lunch at the gf's house for her bday, then had dinner (sahla thai takeout) at my uncle's over (many) beers to celebrate the gf's bday as well as his new grandkid being born this very day. Good times. And yet again, no work. I'm a slacker.

Overall Wagers:

+$104 Live Poker
+1 Lunch
+$27 skins
-$4 side-bets

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my condolences to my pal Harry on his recent loss. For a while there, both Matt and I thought he was going to give it a good run, but in the end, Harry has lost his golf game. Posting an ass-quality 94 at a pasture of a golf course was the last proof I need of this. So here's the offer.

The famous 2-handicap bet:
Harry will be a 2 handicap by golf season end - 1:1 odds betting $100 each against Matt & myself

The reality:

The offer:
We will take our $100 each right now, and not mention the bet again. It will be as if the bet never existed, and we will not use it to razz or otherwise torment Harry -- his golf game is doing that already.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Live 1/2NL Casino Niagara Poker - Friday May 30th, 2008

The Casino Niagara poker room will never be on anyone's must-play list. The casino is 'fun' and low-end, the people rejoice over the (at times) $5 minimum table games and the cheap ringing slots that seem mesmerizing. It's what I imagine a downtown vegas casino would be like, the cheaper ones -- note, i've still never been to Vegas so can't say.

For some reason, once in a while I get the craving to play live poker. No it's not +EV to play B&M at low limits but neither is poker in general for me these days. I make more money working on my business than I do playing cards and that's a positive thing. However, once in a while I need to de-stress and that's where raping and pillaging at the tables come into play.

Friday morning I decided I was going to go play some live poker. I just felt like it, and the girlfriend was playing soccer so I had nothing to do anyways. Hit the bank machine for $300 in ammo, called for the list 90 mins ahead of time, and I'm in.

Casino Niagara, being the bastard red-headed stepchild to the sparkly new Fallsview Casino is where the low limit players go to fool around. At the time I arrived, there were 6 tables of 1/2 No-Limit Hold'em 100-max buyin playing. They were putting together a list for 2/5NLHE with $100 min $200 max (lol) and supposedly were going to open a $1/2 with $200 max which is actually reasonable but I never heard a thing about it. Anyways, got my ass in a $100 max seat upon arrival (calling 90 mins ahead is good) and off we go.

My table was, to put it mildly, awful. Let's put some names and descriptions to the people I recollect as being noteworthy.

On my left is Ponytail Korean Ultradonk (PKU). He is the worlds biggest calling station, playing no less than 80% of his hands and nearly always for a call. He dropped 6 buyins over the course of 2 hours and kept getting his random hands rivered. Sounds like he's a regular.

Then there is an ultratight nit (Nit). Old guy, maybe 50 with a mostly grey rough beard and missing teeth, speaks with a light russian accent. Clearly he comes here just to milk the cow that is awful other players, as you never ever saw him put money in bad and thus hardly ever put money in the pot at all.

To his left is Sunglasses TAG. Now, theres something about people who wear sunglasses and a hoodie at 1/2NL. Maybe it's just me, just strikes me as ridiculous. One dealer (nice guy, pitches well) mentioned theres a guy at another table with sunglasses with the 4 suits across them... I didn't get to see those but rest assured if I had I'd have put a pic up here ultraquick.

Jacques the French Semi-Bluffer (Frenchie) is clearly dropped upon us from the great (canada owned) province of Quebec. He had this slight tell where he'd just randomly go all in with draws to push people off of pots (including gutshots). Not surprisingly, the other players didn't catch onto this... duh. 1/2NL at Casino Niagara, 'nuff said. Jacques sort of looked like that tall guy from Something About Raymond who plays poker, and has sunglasses to hide his bluffing eyes from the rest of the table.

Asian Lady - top pair arr-in on frop! Yep, every time.

Dirty High Degenerate Guy (DHDG). This guy was on something - as high as a kite and kept spacing out at the table. He sort of smelled, took far too long to act or even realize what was going on, but had a stack of $600 in front of him. Wasn't a BAD player just very loose and people kept giving him money.

Good times.

Notable hands for the Toast-man include:

A9s in the SB, limp into a 7 way pot. Flop is AAQ. I check and it checks around. Turn is an K, I bet $5 into the $14 pot hoping to get raised by a K trying to pick it up (Sunglasses TAG is a likely culprit). All fold to the shortstack on my right who calls. River is an A. I take my time, check my cards and push all my chips into a $24 pot (over $80), unfortunately he only has $45 and calls with a K and loses to my Quads. No, I didn't slowroll him, he left the table right after.

I raise JJ in position to $10, PKU calls, DHDG calls. Flop is A-6-5, check to me I bet $20 into the $30 pot, PKU calls and DHDG checkraises to $40. I instamuck and of course PKU gets all in and loses to flopped aces up.

I limp 6h 8h into a multiway pot in middle position (it was that sort of table). Flop is Th-7h-4s so I have a monster draw at the gutshot heart straight flush draw, double belly buster and hearts. Fortunately the BB leads for $10, DHDG calls, I make it $35, Asian Lady flat-calls in SB, BB calls and DHDG folds. Pot is $137 and I have $80ish behind. Turn is 7d pairing the board. Asian lady PUSHES for $48, BB folds and I spend some time wonder wtf she has. If she has a full house, I'm completely dead to one card, but why push with a boat? The nut flush draw worries me as well but in the end I think they would choose to draw freely (if this were Frenchie i'd fold right here, he's master of draw pushes). Anyways, I figure out my pot odds are too huge to fold (190:50 basically) with this many potential outs and unlikelihood of her boat and I call. I make my flush on the river and she flops Ace-Ten with no hearts. Yay.

I raise A-Qo in middle position to $10, flop is 3 ways with Asian lady and DHDG. Flop is A-T-x, checked to me I bet $15, Asian Lady calls on the button and DHDG calls. Turn is a K, DHDG checks, I check because I don't want this pot to be HUGE and Asian Lady pushes. DHDG folds and I tank for 2 mins to count. Pot is $75 and shes betting $63 so I'm getting 2:1. This was actually a very tough call as I thought she would do this with AK-A8 where I get a tie with AQ and beat AJ,A9,A8. Anyways, I thought the call was marginal or even mildly bad getting 2:1 and she flips AQ - split pot.

That's it for big pots. PKU headed over to the 2/5 near the end of my (short) session but I didn't feel like staying for 4+ more hours... this is just for fun after all.

And that's it. Finished up $134.

Maybe i'll do this again sometime as it looks like my Fridays are going to be boring from here on out this summer. I missed golf this morning as my alarm went off while it was raining so I tuned it out due to my being super tired from this week. Turns out they had a decent day to play, I sorta feel bad for missing the game now but meh, hopefully tomorrow's weather is decent.

Looking for online casinos that take amex for a deposit option? It's rare but check out this list of online casinos taking american express.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

This Weekend in G+P - May 25, 2008

Saturday I went out and THINK I fixed a swing issue amazingly. My tempo has been alllll messed up and today i started swinging the sticks a lot more fluidly after almost going on monkey-tilt after a few bad bogeys. Shot a 79 and made two nice skins on 17 which was playing stupid hard and 7 which was playing a sucker pin and I sank a nice putt.

Sunday I headed out for a 7:45 tee time, or so I thought. Turns out the tee time was 7:37 but knowing the guys I was playing with they're standing there at 7:25 on the tee. Fortunately they didn't solicit a 4th and screw me out of my tee time -- yes, wrote me off as MIA even tho i was only 10 minutes early for the actual time. My swing truly is coming back to reasonably solid as I'm hitting a lot more pure strikes with all clubs. I scrambled around to make another 79 this day and win $10 in hollywood action.

Wagers Update

Last Weekend (forgot it):
Side-bets: -$10 and +8 for -$2 net -- yes we're ballers in my golf groups

This weekend:
Saturday: +$13 net on skins (2/6), +$4 Side-Bets
Sunday: +$10 sidebets

2008 Golf Bets Tally:
+1 Lunch
+$18 skins
+$4 side-bets

Mental Note: Harry owes me $4 tho will write it off for his breakfast buying constantly (you da man), Matt owes me $10 from a bet I paid on his behalf and can pay in beer on Friday.

On to the gambling!

I'm taking a break from poker this weekend. Well, I shouldn't say that, poker's taking a break from being fair to me. For some reason I torture myself playing Sit-N-Go's once an evening and constantly get my money in good and constantly lose. Sharkscope says i'm breakeven or a slight loser at them... meh. I'm too lazy to reboot my macbook pro into windows to play cash games for some reason -- need pokertracker 3 because it's the shizzle and it runs like ass in Parallels.

As long time readers of this site know, I used to bonus whore like mad to build a bankroll. Poker bonuses, casino bonuses, whatever. I used to whore casino bonuses at blackjack as I pretty much have the basic strategy down pat but the more advanced stuff I'm still sketchy on. Spent some time reading strategy articles at this site I found at google. Anyways, I decided to start clearing a few casino bonuses this weekend (hopefully I end up +EV at the end). I've been brushing up, and am ahead (so far). I'm pretty sketchy on all forms of gambling outside of poker of course (since they're all casino-weighted to win naturally), but some of the casino bonuses are still easily positive expected value for the ole' bankroll.


Friday, May 23, 2008

A Real Grinder

How's this for a sick bet. This kid bet a whole bunch of people at 2+2 BBV forum he could win 10k at $25NL in a month. He has action to the tune of $40k+ on it getting 2.5:1 odds ... and thats a lot of buyins (400 in fact, an average of 12.9 buy-ins a day) to win at a heavily raked game though admittedly the players are godawful at $25NLHE.

Here's a live webcam feed

Here's a screen cap:

Here's the Update Thread

Here's his blog

Now THAT's a sick bet, baby. Good luck to the guy. I hope he makes it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Searching For Rakeback Deals

As a step to building a respectable bankroll again I’ve started to look for a good rakeback deal. Frankly, the poker sites are making too much money. Seriously.

I mean all of us playing poker have to beat the rake somehow else you'll lose money long term. FYI, RAKE is the percentage of each pot that the poker room charges us to play. I know that I rake my fair share each month playing my low limit games – and if I can keep some of it I am saving myself a few bets - It just makes sense. Rakeback gives a certain percentage of the rake you pay back to you, usually once a month. So why pay more than you have to?

The easiest way to get rakeback is by visiting a rakeback site that provides deals with the poker rooms you like. I recently checked out Rake Rebate Review, a serious rakeback site with great offers and a lot of in-depth rakeback information. They have a rakeback calculator that helps you to see how much rakeback you will get each month depending on how much you play and on what level. You will also find poker rakeback articles dealing with different issues regarding online poker and rakeback. But hey, the most important thing is the rakeback deals, right. Money for nothin', chicks for free.

The site offers 30% InterPoker rakeback , you get 27% at Full Tilt and 30% at Ultimate Bet, to give a few examples. The site is well worth checking out, unfortunately they don’t offer any Party rakeback, but I think that’s impossible to find anywhere. Otherwise please let me know.

Later y'all,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Last Weekend In G+P - May 19th, 2008

Sorry for the delay, I know you're all waiting with baited breath for the weekly update.

This past (long) weekend was awful. The weather was awful, my golf swing was awful, it was awful. Harry I'm positive beat me convincingly with his newfangled golf swing. I was pull, pull, pull, hook, pull, PUSH, whatever. Bah. 82 / 87 (yes, 87 with 2 triples) / 82. Sucks.

Anyhoo, played a tiny bit of the online poker. Recently I've started trying to squeak an hour in here and there to feed the beast within plus i'm re-reading Sklansky/Miller's No-Limit Theory and Practice before bed. Nothing like Sklansky to put you to sleep baby. I'm back to NL Cash games mainly with a Sit-n-Go Donkamant thrown in here and there (Heads Up or 9-man). Donkaments I still suck at, cash games I'm running well mostly. My 'online poker bankroll' is rapidly approaching respectable again. Maybe I'll start talking about it again as I did back in the Party days.

Speaking of the Party days, I realized that my decision back in those days to cash out instead of continue to move up into the middle limits was a major fork in the road of life. I had a solid bankroll to play games where I could have won/lost in a night more than I made in a week at work, and yet I chose real life instead of poker... I likely chose wisely but who knows what might have happened.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

When It All Falls Apart

Thursday I felt the tickle in the back of my throat. No, not that sort of tickle, you pervert.

I knew I was heading for some sort of cold. It sucks, I hardly ever get the things but sometimes there's no avoiding it. This was one of those times. I just hoped I could get rid of it Friday to play golf on the weekend. I was already 10+ rounds behind the sickos I play with regularly this year. Yes, that's a lot.

Well, Friday came and went. I knew Saturday morning was a long shot and it didn't surprise... I had to skip golf due to 'illness'. Feh.

I sat on my interweb connection and played Online M'fin Pokar. I played Heads Up Sit & Go's against some Fin prior to noon. Those scandi's really are consistently crazy. By the end of our series of matches I was snap-calling his all-ins with second pair. Good times. I ended up winning 5/8 matches. I then played a Heads-Up Shootout-style satellite into FTOPS HU event. I won the first, lost the second on two beats. Meh. Was far better though... god I hate tournaments. Played some 50NL 6-max, made a buy-in and a bit. I have great clarity in my poker lately, too bad I can't afford to play often due to time constraints.

Today is Sunday. I got up at 7:15 for golf, praying I felt well enough to go. I walked around, I judged my illness and I came to the conclusion it might drag deep into next week if I let myself go play like this. Feh.

No poker either, just did some crazy stuff in Grand Theft Auto 4 world to de-stress and read the interweb.

Really entertaining picture of the day (poker geek style):

This comes to you courtesy of the sweet sweet 2+2 NVG forum. Here's the original. For those who don't know it, the people in the car (pre-gasoline fight) are Jimmy "Gobboboy" Fricke in the drivers seat, Daniel Negreanu in the passengers, Barry Greenstein behind Gobbo and Tom "Durrr" Dwan beside him.

I will note that when it all falls apart next time, I should have a copy of Zoolander to watch. Great movie.

Smoochies. T.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Heads Up While Bored

So, as some of you know, I am a geek. Not just a typical Internet dweller, but a computer programming, server administering, Interweb building geek.

So anyways, one night one of my servers was going down constantly so i'm totally unable to get any of my geek-work done because i'm babysitting it. Naturally that's boring so I cracked open my Full Tilt Pokar account. I look around for tables, nothing piques my interest and then I recall a conversation Matty had with me earlier in the day about a friend of his running like god at heads up NL tables. (He plays 1/2, i'm not carrying a roll like that yet tho).

So I find a $50NL HU table and sit against some guy short-stacked. He loses that in 5 hands, reloads. I win that as well, he runs. This HU poker stuff is easy. So I find another table and sit. This guy is less bad and actually beats me out of half a buyin and he runs away. I think twoplustwo refers to this maneuver as a "Grimstar". Oh wait, that's buying in, raising to steal a blind and leaving. Hah.

Anyways, I find another guy and I win a buy-in. Then he rebuys and gets ahead by that buy-in and I'm actually stuck for the first time when I make the nut flush on the turn, board pairs and he check-raises my $8 bet to $24... hated to call it but it wasn't enough to fold. 95o beats AKs, gg. Anyhoo, I take everything he's got eventually. I'm actually not BAD at Heads-Up for never having studied it. I have a pretty good read on people after 50 hands and I'm pretty aggro... maybe this is a good game for me.

And so yeah, thats what a poker geek does when he's bored while waiting for a server fix. +2BI and i'm out yo.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Golf And Best-Of-TwoPlusTwo #1

Played golf with Matt & Gary on Saturday. Didn't play well, but neither did they. I got it around in 77, as did Matty and Gary shot 78 and somehow won all the money (match play rocks most of the time). I beat Matty though so break even. That boy can PUTT. No golf Sunday, too damn cold.

Much respect to Harry who qualified for the mens tour. He's Gooood. Also, i'd like to point out that I got a text message today from Harry (at the first tour event) that said... and i quote:

Just saw matt 4-putt up in front of me. He lost it. Yelling and slamming, good stuff.

Good times folks, good times. Thanks for the txt msg Harry. Could you not have got a video capture on your crackberry? That's youtube material baby.

I'd like to try out a new section here at G+P. I do follow the message boards over at twoplustwo to feed my offseason (due to golf) poker addiction, and one of those i read for time killing value is the group of gossipers over at NVG (news, views & gossip).

Our first thread is from NVG: Tony G Gone Bad.

It starts off with a post of:

And a first comment of:

I didn't know him and Clonie were an item

Good times for sad little poker nerds like myself.

I found out this week that pushing 8 high as an overbet on the river on a 22x2A board against a pair of pocket aces does not, in fact, make the opponent fold very often. This pokar lesson is brought to you by the letter T, and cost me a buyin. ;)

Monday, April 28, 2008

This Weekend In Golf - April 28th, 2008

After my last post was wildly successful in collecting a massive 2 comments, here I am again with another one. I'm hoping for 3 this time bay-bee. Don't let me down.

Those crazy bastards Harry and Matt are at the Ontario Better Ball qualifier today. Somehow i doubt they're playing as its absolutely pouring rain but who knows.

This weekend was mixed for yours truly in the golf department. Saturday I played with Gary and Bernie, both of whom are legitimately better golfers than I am at the moment. I sucked, SUCKED... not that i hit the ball that badly but kept making costly mistakes. Sucked around for an 84 from the tips. Fortunately I came in $2 ahead on the hollywood, tied bernie (who also sucked) in our $5 around matches and lost convincingly to G-money Gary. $3 down on bets. Bah.

Sunday I show up and feel relatively good about things. Gary approaches me and asks to match cards -- but not match play, stroke play. Now, Gary on a good day is 3-under and on a bad day is 77. Clearly he could smell blood in the water in asking to play the hack from yesterday straight up. Well, if I've got to play the blue tees, which it seemed like I had to given the lack of Matt & Harry (bernie rolled over the first day on that one, as Harry noted in his blog) I might as well stay interested outside of skins. Its a bad bet for me though, and if it was for real money (and not $5) i'd want odds or shots or something. Gary never makes a bet he doesnt feel confident in winning, but I like a challenge.

Front nine I shoot 39. The grand piss-off here is that I run +2 on the par 5's and make no birdies. My iron game is garbage and I feel 'off', but the magic of blue tees keeps me under 40 and there's hope. The back nine starts off with a drive down the right on 10, lay up to 100 yards as i'm in the trees and then I thin my wedge over the green, chunk a chip shot, and miss a 2 footer for 6. Now i'm +4 on the par-5's for the day. I'm pissed.

Fortunately, I got over it after berating myself walking to the next tee and set out to bring it home strong. I proceed to par 11,12,13,14,15 make a nice chip up and down on 16 from yet another thinned wedge (mental note: replace the f'in wedge) for par, hit a smooth 5-iron into 17 to 4 feet and birdie it. Now i'm on 18, +4 for the day and hit my drive down the right (again, hit it OB on saturday) but fortunately catch the bunker. I then hit a 5i short of the green 40 yards, and hit a beautiful pitch into a front pin and sink a 6 footer for par. Now that's a solid round given the tilt-ability of my 10th hole. +4 on the par-5's is just shit though, have to fix that.

Win a $25 skin ($15 profit) but lose to Gary who shot a 73. He had it -3 after 15 i understand and then greg norman'd the finish -- poor guy. Good win for him, I thought I might be closer.

2008 Golf Bets Tally:
+1 Lunch
+$5 skins
-$8 side-bets

Friday, April 25, 2008

Drinking $2 Stellas Waiting For A Pizza

Both Harry and Matt are now in Florida on a golf vacation. I should have been there, but as usual I've made myself too busy so can't. I never do anything. I am boring because i work all day... wonnnggg....

Last night, none other than Harry calls me from his blackberry while I'm sitting at my desk at 8pm working. "Yeah, we just played 54 holes, are sitting here drinking $2 stellas and waiting for a pizza". I immediately unleashed a few expletives before asking who was winning the matches.

Here's a photo they sent up to rub it in my face. Looks like they're having a great time.

Wait, is that Phil Mickelson?

Monday, April 21, 2008

This Weekend In Golf - April 21, 2008

This weekend we headed out for some of the best weather i've seen in a long time. I still have not replaced my golf shoes nor my wedges as planned as the pro shop has not received all their inventory yet I understand.

So, still playing with wedges that don't spin anymore and whose grips are worn and shoes that leak. Yeah, it's budget. Time to change that asap.

Saturday I played with Matt & Harry as usual. We played the tips, and I shot a poorly played 79 which isn't bad given I really wasn't sharp. The driver is a little spray-happy, irons are mostly on but not sharp, and the short game was O.K. though I did fudge a few chips. Was on the good side of our bet (loser buys lunch) though.

Sunday we're back, but this time the complainers turned out to bitch about the back tees. Typical. We ended up playing them though. I had a fairly solid front nine with one double (hacked a tee shot on 7 into the water and one birdie on 8 for a 38). Back nine started with blowing a driver OB on 10 and making double. Chunked 2nd shot on 11, water again on 12, trees left on 13, trees left on 15, and bunker behind the green on 18 for a 43 to shoot 81. -$10 in skins here, bad round. I think I was tired from drinking the night before... no excuse tho. My joints are hurting after the round however... guess i'm not in shape for trekking the golf course and swinging the club right away.

2008 Golf Bets Tally:
+1 Lunch
-$10 skins

Thursday, April 17, 2008

RakeBrain's LeCheese Challenge II

I love a good freeroll. Maybe it's the cheap bastard in me... yep, wait a sec it's the cheap bastard in me.

The fine folks over at RakeBrain put on RakeBrain's Le Cheese Challenge II. It's a poker blogger only event, freeroll for $1k in prizes plus a $100 bounty on LeCheese himself. Sweet deal and a lot of the big poker blog names were in it. I don't know how I got invited.

Anyway, the game is Pot Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha Hi Mixed in tourney fashion. You know me and tourneys... I'm ass at them, or just run like ass at them. Whatever, it's for fun so off we go.

Annnd... it's over in 40 minutes. Blinds at 25/50 and I've got a massive stack of $1900 from my original $1500. We're in Omahahahaha land. Three limpers and I complete the small blind for $25 more. BB checks.

My hand:

8h 8c 3c 7d


8s 4c 5c

Top set and a crappy flush draw on a straight board. Well that's fun. This is a go broke or double up sort of flop natch.

I lead for $125. One call. Late position makes it $750 and covers me, I push, the middle caller pushes his 838 into the pot, and late position pushes as well. I'd say i'm up against the straight and the nut flush draw here....

And I'm right. Unfortunately the board paireth not for my boat and I'm sent home in 23rd out of 27 players. Yes, I suck at donkaments. But, I got my money in with the right odds (35% equity) so I'm ok with it.

Thanks again to the folks at RakeBrain for the freeroll.

Shake and Bake.

Monday, April 07, 2008

RakeBrain - A Unique RakeBack Site

There are quite a few rakeback-affiliate clones on the Net, all with the same rakeback percentages and substandard support teams. Among these, RakeBrain is a rare species.

RakeBrain offers the best rakeback deals with some of the biggest poker sites online and has regularly updated rakeback stats for its players. More or less what you can expect from an esteemed rakeback site. But the site has other, unique treats that sets it aside from its competitors.

For instance, there are always special promotions offered, such as freerolls and rake races. Currently, Rakebrain hosts a race at InterPoker with $10,000 in added value where the winner can add $1,500 to his/her bankroll.

RakeBrain also has one of the Net’s best refer-a-friend programs. When you refer someone, you will earn up to 4% of the referalls rake – for life!

Also visit LeCheese’s poker rakeback blog where he writes about his ups and downs, strikes and gutters, in the world of online poker.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Foaming At The Mouth

I drove by the golf course this morning on the way to work. Normally I drive the other way but this morning the sun was out for a second day in a row and so I had hope.

I actually convinced myself there was some chance. After all, we've had windy bright days for TWO days in a row (a new record it seems). That has to take the water out of the ground right?

Driving by the parking lot, there were a lot more cars than usual. But... the gate was shut, pins weren't in... not that I expected them to be but for winter-stricken golf geeks hope is all we've got at this point.

Maintenance workers on-site is a good sign right?... RIGHT?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Micro Stakes Murderer's Row - March 19th

Another night on the 'row. Tonight we had:

Myself: I'm in the mood to splash around but switch it up often. Probably overthinking for this game but i'm a poker nerd.

Matt: Ultra-serious bad beat magnet who lost more in the stock market pre-poker than I make in a month, or so he tells me.

Ryan The Golf Pro: If I'm described as a loose player (and I do switch it up a bit), he's Ron Jeremy's latest victim loose. Rarely finds a hand he does not like.

Jeff: Tight, Aggressive. He must hate having me on his left and Ryan two left.

Steve: Hard to describe his game... i'd say slightly loose aggressive and likes to keep firing.

Cory: Looseish?... not well known to me.

The night begins with my putting a bounty on felting Ryan. The game is never as good as when he's behind and trying to catch up. I like to instigate shit. Usually I try and felt Matty as he's tilty when my crap cards beat his good ones (see the 9-T hand from last time at the row).

Jeff claims that bounty. The game starts to get good.

Hands I Remember (still tired):

I take a decent pot off Matt when I limp AQ in EP and bet 3-streets to beat his QT on a Q high board.

I lay down AQ on a AKQ board to a flop c/r from Cory after some time in the tank. I think this was a bad fold in retrospect but I don't know his game that well still.

Matt raises from BTN, Ryan 3-bets from SB, Matt calls. Flop is QQT two spades, ryan pushes. Matt calls with AK and leads ryan's AJ spades. Sick. Ryan spikes his spade on the river though.

Steve gets felted time after time. Starts to get angry around the 3rd reload. His anger does not make him play better.

Cory keeps flopping better than me, and I call him down time and time again with losing hands. Doh.

I raise QJs on Button, ryan pauses and calls, steve and Cory call. Flop is QQT rainbow. Ryan leads, Cory calls, I call. Someone else has a Q I can smell it. F'er. Ryan leads the blanko turn $10, Cory folds, I call. Ryan bets $10 on the K-ball river, I call. His AQ is good. Nothing I can do here I don't think. I could fold the river for $25-30 though.

Matt takes off with $45 profit, down to 5 players.

Cory dominates and continues to win pots off everyone. I think he ran well and played it well too.

Ryan and I have a great conversation in the blinds. Flop comes down and it goes as such:

Me: I hit it
Ryan: So did I
Me: Ok I bet $1.50
Ryan: I call
Me: I still hit it the first time
Ryan: Me too
Me: $2.00
Ryan: I call
Me: That one missed me, I still have my first one though. I bet $2.
Ryan: I donkey'd you and caught the river, I call.
He wins

Tough game huh?

So ends another night on Micro Stakes Murderer's Row.

Results (approx. and my best guess):
Matt: +$45
Me: -$25
Jeff: +30
Steve: -$100
Ryan: -$45
Cory: +$95

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And It's A Pray-Off

I decided to catch Big Poker Sundays at Poker Road to get motivated for a home-game this week and was reminded in their introduction of the fun times had at the last WSOP.

And here's the scene:

Jerry Yang, a poker-donkey has 1/3 of the table's chips with 5 (I think) players left. First prize is huge. Lee Watkinson is a professional poker player

Yang raises (again) to 1M with 120k/240k blinds from the button. Lee Watkinson moves in from the blinds with A7 and is called by Yang's A9. The pro moves in as a 3:1 underdog... hmm.

Watkinson's girlfriend: "Come on, Father! In Jesus' name, no weapon formed against You shall prosper."

Yang: "Come on, Lord. You know your purpose for me. Come on, Lord, have a purpose for me today."

Watkinson's girlfriend: "Come on, make him a believer. Make me a believer, Father."

Norman Chad quips: "I'm not sure who the Lord is listening to, but Watkinson needs a seven or he's done."

I guess she should have been praying to "tiny infant Jesus, with your baby Jesus powers..." because clearly her man upstairs wasn't listening. Yang was dialed in with his Jesus (and positive expectation but let's not let math factor into this) and wins the hand.

I'll have to try it vs. Matty or something, but I'll be sure to take dead aim at tiny baby infant jesus and make that prayer my bitch.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Pro Golfer Kills Hawk With Golf Ball

As seen over at some crazy blonde hippy's blog, golf pro Tripp Isenhour is now in some trouble with a few people over his decision to try and hit a rather loud hawk with his golf shot as sort of a game.

Now, I'm no animal nut so I'm not as pissed off about this as the US Solider Killing A Puppy thing (I think THAT guy should go to military prison) as I think this was dumb luck and a dumber choice. I don't care who you are, hitting a hawk that is ~3 feet in size from 80 yards with a golf ball is dumb luck. However, TRYING to hit the hawk with a golf ball... and you're a professional golfer... you've gotta be an idiot.

Here's the story at the associated press so you know it's not just some hippy making stuff up.

As a last note, we had a hawk at our golf course the last couple seasons. They're absolutely amazing. This guy really must have had his wires crossed that day to even consider taking one out... a serious lapse in judgement. Maximum penalty is $1500 and 14 months in pound me in the ass prison. Suggested prison nickname: Hawk, natch.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Canadian Government Considers Ban On Online Gambling

I'm a Canadian. I am a proud Canadian for the most part, outside of the whole pandering to the Quebec'ers thing.

The USA is well known to have passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) tucked neatly inside a Port Security act. The conservatives there believe that they should make decisions for peoples actions in their own home. They can happily drive to an Indian casino and gamble their dollars, but just don't do it on the Internet. Yeah, makes sense. It just happens that a (very) few online casinos and quite a few poker sites have seen to not lay down to this law -- particularly the privately held sites. The poker sites contend that since poker is a strategy game -- and it is -- it should not be considered "gambling", and the operating casinos, well they just don't care. And so they go about their business and lobby for change.

Canada on the other hand stays out of the issue for the most part. The Canadian based Kahnawake tribe has a gaming commission of its own that regulates online sites, lots of Canadians gamble online and all is well with the world.

Now this is potentially changing. Lobbied by a horse track operators who are upset that online sites take wagers on everything - so people don't have to show up and bet through their window. They're pitching prohibiting banks and credit card companies from transferring money to online sites... they're EVEN pitching to have ISP's block access to these sites. Here are a few articles on the subject.

Now, let's review this. A group of horse racing track operators wants Canada to not allow its citizens to gamble online because it wants them to gamble inside its monopoly.

What other restrictions can we put in place so that people with controls over industries can avoid adapting?

Prohibit Peer To Peer File Sharing - It's only for piracy anyways, right? ... or let's just tax canadians yearly for music and movies regardless of whether they pirate and give it to the industry groups, they pay the artists... right?

Prohibit YouTube - there is not 20% canadian content on this, how will our Canadian film industry ever survive?

Prohibit Porn - How can we tell that every image and video that comes into the country is tasteful in the public interest? We can't monitor the whole Internet... ban it all.

Hmm, those ideas don't sound too good to me. It sounds like the government is trying to decide how we should live our lives to benefit the bottom line of a few corporations.

Speak up, my friends. I like my freedoms.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Cutting Cheese

Monday, February 25, 2008

Best 6 Minutes Of My Day

Just watch it... I guarantee it's worth it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jennifer Tilly Donk Hand on PAD

Ok, i saw this video long ago but the 2+2 pokercast has reminded me of it. Jen Tilly is playing against Patrik Antonius and gives him a bit too much credit.

Special to note: ivey's face and antonius' voice saying "oh, i can't beat that"

Thought you poker nerds would like it even if you've seen it before.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Poker Home Game - Micro-Stakes Murderer's Row

Yesterday I played in a 5-person home game at Matty's house. The stakes were low, the action was awesome.

The following suspects were there:

  • Matt - Matty is the host of the game. He's a closet poker degenerate but keeps the urge at bay by losing money slowly but surely at the game which reminds him he should be spending his time on more important things -- like watching the Sabres suck their way up and down the ice. Matt is a slightly loose aggressive pre passive post poker player. Matt buys in for $50.

  • Jay - Jay is a family guy these days. Has a couple rugrats and never makes it out to games due to time constraints. Jay is known in poker circles as a "maniac". Jay buys for $40.

  • Ryan - Ryan the pro is off on winter pogey at the moment -- seasonal job... yadda yadda. He used to spend all his free winter time at the casino rounding but currently wakes up at noon, hits the gym often and might in some circles be considered a "recreational alcoholic". Nice guy, loose-aggressive player, buys in for $40 and pours himself a double vodka, neat.

  • Toast - Yours truly. Poker-starved workaholic who can't make interesting blog posts (at least, so says the guy who considers his own intesting blog posts to include him beating a girl at squash -- really entertaining stuff Harry btw). I buy-in $50 and will rebuy to cover Matt at all times. Brought $250 to a $50 home game, you figure it out. Starved of poker much?

  • Steve - Steve's off his seasonal job too right now. First time i've played with him. Steve buys for $40 and seems to know what he's doing.

Off we go. Early on it's clear that this $0.25/$0.50 blind game is going to be crazy. Britney Spears is less crazy than this group and that's one crazy bitch.

Early on Jay gets himself crippled (he only brought one buy-in -- beginners mistake). He has to play short stacked poker until he randomly decides he has to push $12ish into $0.75 blinds pots consistantly. Jay goes busto after about an hour having never received his due-action.

So we're 4 handed. Usually when the home games get 4-handed Gary starts bitching then we stack him 3 times and he runs away, then Harry decides he is tired of playing poker and instead of cashing out calls off chips with any two cards. Those guys weren't there. Left are 4 total poker obsessed low-stakes players. This could be an interesting night.

Interesting Happenings That I Remember:

I call off a $12 river bet against Matt with 4th pair on a 8JJKx board. He had AJ. Hmm, poor read.

I double through Matt with 9To turning a straight against his AA.

I take Matt's remaining $20 or so with my QQ v his AK pre-flop action. He re-buys.

I call a $40 all-in flop push on a K high two spade board with K-6 against what appeared to be Steve in frustration of my constantly raising people (it looked like a bluff with a mid pocket pair to me). Took me like 3-5 mins to call only to be shown KJ with the flush draw. DOH. I'm back to my original buy-in or so.

I call in BB with JTs. Flop is 8 high, I check Matt bets I call. Turn is a blank I check Matt bets $8 I check-raise to $23 and he claims to want to push with Q high. I show the bluff.

I sniff out Matt's bluff but fold anyways, he shows the bluff.

I sniff out Ryan's bluff but fold anyways, he shows the bluff (i'm gun-shy for a bit after that K6 hand I think).

I almost double through fully with 34s on a 44T board vs. Steve -- he doesn't call the $40 river push into a $60 pot with JT (DOH).

I snap-call Matt's $15 flop push with AQ high on a 788 board -- he turns a straight with a J -- nice call tho Toasty! :)

Matt plays a great pre-flop hand vs. Steve. Matt opens to $2 on the button, Steve makes it $5. Matt makes it $15. Steve pushes, Matt tanks and calls his remaining $25ish off with 99 versus steve's 77. They hold up and it's a sick play overall.


The whole game was played on a level "above" that of the cards themselves. It was the first time I had played psychological game level poker at the home game and was the most aggressive game I have seen in a long time. I personally put myself in a lot of tight spots playing loose poker. Had the stakes meant more, I might not have made some of the heroic calls that happened - win or lose. Ryan wasn't happy with his play, Steve played well and Matt and I ended up slightly ahead.

In the end we had a fantastic night of poker regardless of the low stakes -- ended at 2AM baby. There was blood on the floor each hand and no letting go on pots easily -- it was beautiful. All I ever asked for the home game to be was competitive -- for people to care about the pots and their chips. Even though we aren't playing for a lot of money here, there was no lack of competition.

And so ends a beautiful night on micro-stakes murderer's row.

Did you read all that? Now Go Check Out Natalie Gulbis again as a reward.