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. ;)