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Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The Past is Gone, The Future’s Blind

Sadly, I missed the DADI Invitational tonight. Byron was only able to win because I wasn’t there. Congrats!

Instead, I was at the bowling alley, as usual on Monday nights. My first three games were nothing special. In fact, they were pretty bad. Nothing wrong with a 192, but 178 and 162 are pretty sad. I’m not sure what happened for my last game, but I figured something out.

72X   X   X   X   X   X   X   X   XX9

Unfortunately, if that last shot was strike, I’d have gotten a plaque for 11 strikes in a row. A teammate threw 279 that game, too. Again, I throw a big game, and it’s not the highest on the pair. Can’t really complain, though. The game pulled me up to a respectable 810 series for the night, too.

When I got home, I fired up FTP and registered for the $8k, and turned on my DVR’d 24. It took 10 minutes of me thinking, “how long is this damn ‘previously on 24’ bit?” before realizing I was watching last week’s episode. Anyway, I watched 24, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report, and then ran out of things to watch, while playing in the $8k. I doubled up early when I flopped a set of eights against aces. Caught enough cards to keep up. Got lucky when AJo outflopped QQ. All of a sudden, I was shortstacked on the money bubble. Then shortstacked on the three table bubble. Then chip leader with two tables remaining. Pretty card dead after that, and went out in sixth place (final table!) when I pushed for 4 BBs with A8s and got called by J9o. He flopped a 9, and I hit a useless 8 on the river. $520 for my effort. It was good to be at another final table. Even though it’s only been a month since the last one, it seemed like it had been forever.

Thanks to April for staying up late and railbirding me through the whole thing.

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Posted by alan to [bowling, poker] at 3:53 am PT | Link | Comments (6)
Friday, March 10, 2006
The Space That’s in Between Insane and Insecure

Yesterday, I upgraded my blog to WordPress 2.0.2. It was relatively painless, though are a few things that are still broken. My gallery no longer works, but I’ve been wanting to find something new for that anyway. Part of the reason for the upgrade was to actually clean up a lot of the junk that had accumulated in my web directory. I had done a lot of customization, and was using WP before it had themes, so my layout and all the custom code was all sitting there. Now, I’ve moved it to a theme, and the only customization I’ve done to the actual WordPress code is a tweak to get my archive listing to look the way I want it to. I’ve also installed another plugin, Brian’s Threaded Comments, so you (and I) can actually reply to specific comments on posts now.

Thanks to Chris for the recommendation of Hamachi. It’s basically a zero-configuration VPN that lets me access my home machines from work as if they were on a LAN together. No more messing with port forwarding, and crazy configuration stuff. I’ve also had my father set it up as well, and now we can send files back and forth just by accessing Windows shares and copying things. Today, I actually copied files from my home machine to my father’s machine across the country, by just dragging them from one shared folder to another while at work. It’s very cool.

Tomorrow, I’m playing in a $220 buyin, 700+ field tournament at Chumash. I’ve played in it a few times before, and cashed once. The payout structure is very steep; they pay 100 places, with first getting $50k and 9th only $1500. It should be fun, I hope.

Sunday is the first event in the WPBT-POY (Player of the Year) Race, set up by Byron.

What: Pot-Limit Omaha

Where: PokerStars (Private Tourney 20742121) (password wpbt72)

When: Sunday, March 12th at 9:30 PM EST (that’s 6:30 PM PST, according to the supercomputer I use to keep track of time-zone changes).

Cost: $20+2 (couldn’t make a $15 tourney and there were slightly more votes for $20 than $10)

Requirements: Be a poker blogger who wants to take part in this year-long experiment. The poker blogging requirements will be light. Even if you post as often as Hdouble, or mention as much poker as AlCantHang, you are good. This rule will be enforced on an honor system. Non-bloggers will not be eligible for the title and the as yet unannounced prize at the end of the year.

Monday, we have the DADI Shorthanded Poker tournament, set up by Jordan and TripJax.

D.A.D.I. Shorthanded Poker
Monday, March 13th starting at 9pm

Finally, this year’s first WPBT WSOP Satellite will be held on Sunday, March 19th. Thanks, Iggy.

WPBT WSOP Satellite Tournament
March 19th – Sunday
9pm EST
Paradise Poker
$30 NL
password: email Iggy

I think that’s it for now.

This new WYSIWYG in WP 2.0 is interesting. I like it, but at the same time I’m so used to typing in my own HTML code for most of my stuff that it makes it strange to use sometimes. I’ll have to get used to it.

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Posted by alan to [geek, meta, poker] at 3:34 pm PT | Link | Comments (5)
Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Television Dreams of Tomorrow

I haven’t been playing any online poker lately. My internet connection has been dropping out a lot, and isn’t reliable enough to do anything. The cable guy was finally here this morning, and after checking everything out, and seeing that the signal levels were strong, and replacing the modem, it still happened. While he was here, he got a call from someone else on my street who had the same problem. Obviously, there’s something wrong with the line going to both of our houses.

Saturday afternoon, I bowled in the Santa Barbara City Tournament. I did reasonably well, but not enough to make any money. I shot 1807 over 9 games, so I’m plenty happy with that. I also somehow picked up the 4-6 split. It was awesome. I had picked it up once before, probably about 10 years ago. I got the ball to the right of the 6, and it just tipped over and then bounced into the 4. Makes the whole thing worth it.

As for poker, I played at Chumash on Saturday night. More card dead than I’ve been in a long time. I lost my first buyin with AQ vs AT, when he turned two pair. My second buyin I went from $200 to $65 basically just posting blinds and folding. The few decent hands I did get (AQs, AJs) I had to fold preflop to lots of action. With $65 left, I called a raise to $20 in the big blind with A7s. I pushed my last $45 in on the AA5 flop. Two callers. They got all in on the 8 turn, and I figured I was beat. Taking lessons from CJ, I said I had three outs for a win, and three for a chop, and called for my 7 to hit the river.

And there it was. They had AK and 55. With the other people who were in the pot preflop, I almost quadrupled up. I had already said it was my last orbit, so I folded the rest of it, and took my $255 (from $380 in buyins) and left. I used $220 of that to buy into the 700 person tournament they’re having this coming Saturday.

Sunday night, I drove down to LA to play at The Bike with Byron. I only was really involved in one pot with him, and it ended when I folded my AQs to his reraise preflop. He had KK. There was one interesting hand I played with someone else. I limped with 76s, and saw a $5 flop of 663, two diamonds. Checked to me, I bet $20, and the big blind check-raised $40 more. I thought for a while, and just called. The turn was a nice looking 7. The big blind led out for $60, and I just called. The river was the 5. He bet, I pushed, and he called. I flipped up my cards, and said if he had the 4 he was good.

He turned over 76s for a chop.

I finished the night up $90, making back almost what I lost at Chumash. Byron finished ahead a little bit, but not too much.

I need my internet connection to be reliable again. I really want to play the FTP online tournaments again, dammit.

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Posted by alan to [bowling, poker] at 3:16 pm PT | Link | Comments (5)
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Shameless Promotion

PSO is making me post this. Well, they’re giving me free stuff for doing it. DuggleBogey shills for them all the time and gets away with it. I think I can do it once. Actually, I’ve posted about them before a few times. Basically, you sign up at their site, their poker forum, and then some poker sites through their affiliate links, and they give you free stuff just for playing a bunch of hands of poker. Which you were going to do anyway. Also, their Instant Bankroll promo is great for people who don’t already have Party or Titan accounts. Their forum just hit 25k users. I just recently got some cool new $1k Nevada Jacks to round out my set. Now, I actually have to start having a home game, or something.

Not much to report on my actual poker play, lately. Since my crazy run of four final tables in a week, I’ve cashed in a few more of the $8k and $16k tournaments on FTP, but no big money cashes. I had about a week of bubble finishes, and a few times got the bottom payout. This week, I got knocked out in the middle of the field getting my chips in as a 90% favorite. Luckily, I had swapped 5% with Ryan, who made the final table, so I got back more than my buyin.

One of these days, I’m going to hit a big win when someone has a piece of me.

Part of the reason I haven’t been playing in as many of them as I’d like is that my parents were here for a week. I’m not at all complaining about that, just giving it as a reason. I still did manage to play a few of the late night $8ks. While they were here, we went out and did something I’ve been needing to do for a while: furniture shopping. It was surprisingly tiring, and after driving down as far as Oxnard (about an hour), ended up getting just about everything at a store that’s closing right around the corner from me. I ended up with a new dining room table and chairs, living room furniture, some bookcases, and a bed (instead of the plain metal frame only that I had). There are pictures up in the gallery.

I’ve also been killing a lot of time playing the damn blobby game. I made it this far:


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Posted by alan to [house, poker] at 6:00 pm PT | Link | Comments (3)
Friday, February 17, 2006
Read Pauly!

Dr. Pauly is liveblogging the LA Poker Classic main event over at taopoker.blogspot.com, as usual. From the looks of things, he’s in top liveblogging form. Spaceman is also covering the event for Bluff Magazine.

I took a pretty serious look at moving to the $75 tournaments at FTP in addition to or instead of the $26s, and decided it really wasn’t worth it. They’re only about an hour shorter even though the field is one third the size, have about the same sort of money at the top, and pay fewer people because of the smaller field. Overall, it seemed like the $26s were a better investment.

Last night, while watching Battlestar Galactica DVDs with my father just before 8, I realized one of the main benefits of the $75s: It started in 5 minutes, instead of 2 hours and 5 minutes. The timing on the $10k is much better for me than the $16k (too early) or the $8k (starts at 10pm; ends after 2am). The $75 buyin $10k tournament starts at 8pm Pacific, and ends shortly after midnight if I was to make it that far. Much better situation. So, I played in my first $75 at FTP last night.

Pretty early on, I open raised with ATs, and got one caller who had position on me. The flop was pretty good: 9JQ of my suit. Nut flush with two outs to a straight flush isn’t bad. I led right out at it, and got raised. I had the other guy barely covered, and the raise was for about half of both of our stacks. I figured this was as good a time as any to slowplay and let someone else bust themselves, so I just called. The turn should have killed my action, being another low club. I checked, and after thinking a little bit, he pushed. Slowplayed aces, that he should never have let me see the flop with.

45 minutes or so into the first hour, I opened for 3x the big blind again, with 77. I got one caller in the big blind, and saw a nice looking 762 flop. I had about 4k in chips and he had me covered. No slowplaying here, I bet 2/3 the pot, and he called. The turn was an 8, so a few hands could beat me now, but I couldn’t really put someone on them. He checked again, and I made a sizeable bet. Checkraised. I really can’t put him on any hand that beats me, so I push. Instacalled, by 66, and I double up. Set over set is fun when you’re on the right end of it.

I was chip leader for a short time, and then in third place at the first break. From there, absolutely card dead. I hit my high point of around 12k in chips before the first hour was over, and I don’t think I ever broke that mark again. I wasn’t playing just to cash, and was stealing when I had the opportunity, but for the most part just didn’t get anything playable. My 87o woulda flopped a pair and busted both AJ and AK. My Q2o UTG woulda seen a flop of 222 (second time in a week I’ve folded quad 2s preflop; the first time in the $8k on Monday: image). For the most part, fold fold fold steal fold fold fold. Somewhere in the middle, I did bust a shortstack with TT vs 33 when I made quads. I didn’t even get to say TQB! in the chat because I got moved immediately afterwards.

I probably had an m of 5 when we got down to the final two tables, and in the money. I open-pushed with 76s, and got called by AKo. Not a bad situation, being only a 58/42 underdog, almost a coinflip. The flop of AAA killed my chances, with my 6 on the turn not exactly helping me, and I busted to quads in 16th place for $135 payout on my $75. Pretty happy with that for my first $75. I don’t know how often I’ll actually play them, because I still think the $26s are a better investment. I just wish they had one at 8 or 9pm pacific.

I am definitely going to try to keep riding the rush until my tournament luck runs out.

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Posted by alan to poker at 11:25 am PT | Link | Comments (4)
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Still in Shock

I took a shot at the $200+16 $200k guarantee at FTP on Sunday. With the run I’ve been on lately, I figured I pretty much had to. I think I played pretty well in it, and made it well into the second hour with a decent stack. Sadly, with my M around 8, it folded to me in the cutoff with JJ. The big blind woke up with aces, and I was out in 406th place, out of almost 1200. 108 spots paid. Pretty much nothing I could do in that spot, and I feel like I played well the whole tournament. Afterwards, I played a 6.60 token tourney, and won another $26 token.

Last night, I used the token to play in the $8k after bowling terribly. I cruised along around average in chips for most of the time, with no real notable hands. All of a sudden, we were on the bubble. Strange how that happens. Past the bubble, I needed to get some cards. I pushed with KQ, got called by AJ, flopped and rivered a king, and doubled up. From there, I sat tight for a while, mostly folding, and stealing when I had the opportunity. We quickly dropped down from five tables to four, then three, and two. The final table bubble seemed like it took forever, but it finally popped and I was at yet another one.

Pretty quickly, I folded to several hundred more dollars when two players busted on back to back hands. Then I pushed over a raise with ATo, and flopped an ace to double up against JJ. From there, it was back to the usual fold fold fold until we ended up three handed. I was a bit card dead, and tried too hard to make things happen. Then, when I finally did flop top pair with my J8s, I got greedy and didn’t just push, but instead bet about size of the pot on the flop and the turn, and got beat by runner runner flush to a guy who had no pair on the flop. The next hand I pushed with A8s, and got called and beat by 43s, and I was out in third place. No bad beat stories here, just telling the hands like they happened.

Can’t complain about another four figure ($1255) payday in a $26 tournament.

My great run will probably end here, as my father will finally be getting here tonight, and then my mother shows up on Saturday. That will seriously cut into my poker time for about two weeks. I figure I should give someone else a chance to make a final table, anyway.

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Posted by alan to poker at 2:50 pm PT | Link | Comments (6)
Friday, February 10, 2006
On a Roll

This has been one hell of a week for me. Sunday night, I final tabled the FTP $16k, and finished 8th for a nice score. Monday night, I came in second in the $8k for my biggest tournament cash ever.

Then last night, I took second in the $16k to beat that, with a $2710.80 cash. 2nd out of 753. I almost didn’t play, because I had no tokens and failed to get one earlier yesterday. $26 isn’t too much, but I like getting into the tournaments cheaper. I’m still going to be playing the token SNGs every now and then, and I think I have to keep playing the guaranteed prize pool tournaments at FTP.

There were a few memorable hands from the tournament, but for the most part it was just my good hands holding up, winning races, and not getting all my chips in behind. I never did that until the last hand, after getting completely run over again heads up. I couldn’t flop a pair or even get any paint. 5 and 6 high was all I was getting heads up, and then missing the flop. I seriously need to work on my heads up play. The big hands of the tournament for me were all good folds. AJo, three times. Late in the tournament, with my M hovering around 6 I had to let it go because the action ahead of me said I was beat. Every time, it was a good laydown, and I would have busted had I called.

Some other big hands were 33 from the button holding up against the big blinds A2, AK beating 99 at the final table, and then QQ holding up against KQ to bust the player in third and get heads up.

While playing the $16k last night, I also played in the WWdN: BG Semi-Open. 50 players signed up, in honor of BG. For those that don’t know, he just had surgery, and will have some serious medical bills coming soon. For more information on how to help him out, check out Pauly’s post. I final tabled in this tournament, too, taking 8th for $22.50 on my $11.

Four final tables in one week. Tonight, I make my first appearance at Murderer’s Row.

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Posted by alan to poker at 3:58 pm PT | Link | Comments (5)
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
WWdN Sabboth Invitational

I’m going to attempt to liveblog this thing… if this post doesn’t get updated at all, I failed.

5:29pm… 1 minute until we start, 98 players registered.

5:30pm… I fold 93o in the SB to a raise.

5:31pm… I try to steal from the button and the BB reraises. I fold.

5:33pm… Moved already. To my left is Shane. G-Rob is at my table as well.

5:39pm… I dropped the hammer, and won the pot.

5:42pm… owentgs flopped two pair with the hammer, vs weak_players’ aces. The turn paired the queen on the board, and aces held up.

5:50pm… I flopped a set of twos, and took down the pot on the turn.

6:01pm… G-Rob just bluffed all in, got called by QQ, and hit runner runner flush to bust patrickjst.

6:05pm… Any hands of mine I write here are probably lies, unless they got showed. I can’t give away all my secrets while the tournament is still going on.

6:08pm… My mouse batteries are dying. I need the break soon so I can replace them.

6:14pm… Wil just busted, pushing with Q5 from the small blind and running into KJ in the big blind.

6:15pm… Nickerson is all in with JJ vs AK… the board makes a 9 high straight and they chop.

6:17pm… I pushed all in with T9s on a Q92 flop. weak_player called with QJ, and I rivered a T.

6:18pm… Shane busts with KJs vs QQ.

6:20pm… facty just got moved to my left.

6:34pm… I successfully changed my mouse batteries at the break. Nothing worse than getting dealt AA and not being able to move the mouse to the box to type in your raise.

6:43pm… I’m starting to get a bit shortstacked. I need some cards, but I’m not desperate yet.

6:52pm… I’m out. Lost a race with AJ vs TripJax’ TT. SoaP.

I’m off to the bowling alley to watch my team, I guess (they have a full team without me.. we alternate in and out).

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Posted by alan to poker at 6:28 pm PT | Link | Comments (2)
Not Quite $100k

Another day, another final table.

I bowl Monday nights, so no $16k guarantee for me. Instead, I played the later $8k guarantee using my last token at FTP, while watching 24 in beautiful HD. I played my normal game, I think, and got enough cards to keep up with the blinds most of the time. Every time I’d look up to see that I’d dropped down to about half average (which happens a lot when I keep folding and half the field busts), I’d win a significant pot. No exciting hands for most of it, though. Just raising preflop and taking it down on the flop or turn, usually.

I was only all in preflop three times. Once, late and shortstacked with 44 vs AJ. I pushed from the button, he called from the big blind. I won. (What?! I won a race?!) After that, I had AK in the big blind, and it folded to the small blind who pushed and had me slightly covered. He had J8s, and the flop came AAx. And then the hand I busted on. I was also all-in on the flop once, with JJ vs 88 on a nine high flop. I called his raise from the big blind, and then bet out on the flop. I wasn’t slowplaying so much as not wanting to see an overcard hit. He raised, and I pushed. I hit a set on the turn for good measure.

Some exciting IRC chat:

<metsfan_> crap, break
<metsfan_> i mean
<glyphic> crap break?
<metsfan_> crap break?
<metsfan_> nah
<metsfan_> haha
<glyphic> geez… tmi
<metsfan_> i dont need a break for that.
* metsfan_ plays on a laptop.
<biggestro> tmi
<metsfan_> but dammit, wtf is wrong with my stomach right now
<metsfan_> its going nuts.
<glyphic> yeah, wireless is cool
<metsfan_> something I ate really messed me up

Yes, I really did play some of the tournament in the bathroom. That’s what I get for getting an egg salad sandwich from 7-11, I guess. My stomach really bothered me all night, and still does now.

It was a strange feeling, coming to the final table as chip leader.

I stole a little bit, got a few good hands, but for the most part I stayed out of things at the final table for a while. I let the shortstacks battle it out. I did bust one guy with 77 vs AQ on an A7x flop. Checkraised him all-in, my only checkraise of the tournament. I’m not quite sure how I ended up with all these chips, given that I was staying out of people’s way, but four handed I was in good shape.

ganf01 and onesandzeros passed the shortstack back and forth for a while before onesandzeros finally won the battle and busted ganf01. Three handed, I got outplayed (or just had worse cards; I’ll never know) a bit and we ended up all about even in chips. I did get to drop the hammer with a preflop reraise, though. onesandzeros pick the wrong spot to bluff all in, and ran into JackDuece13’s flopped top two pair, and we were heads up, with him having about a 2:1 chip lead. Then I got run over. I suck at heads up, and I know it. I was weak-tight, and letting him push me around. I also couldn’t even flop a pair. I finally got all in with K8 vs A9 and lost. I need to practice playing heads up, but I’m so rarely in this situation in big multitable tournaments (last time I was, it was against a Guinness-fueled maniac). I guess I also need to read Harrington Volume II (and finish Volume I).

Second place, for $1478.40. The past two days have wiped out January, and then some. Thanks to all my IRC railbirds!

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Posted by alan to poker at 1:09 pm PT | Link | Comments (8)
Monday, February 6, 2006
Mission Re-Accomplished

I finally made it back to another final table last night, in the FullTilt $16K guarantee. I was hanging out in IRC during the Super Bowl, and people mentioned that it was a good day for overlay, because of the game. The tournament was starting as the game was ending, so I used an MPS token to enter. Only 556 signed up, so there was indeed overlay, $2656 of it.

I was cruising right along, getting a few good hands here and there when I suddenly donked off most of my chips. I raised with AJs UTG, and got called only by the big blind. The flop was QJx with two diamonds, and he check-called my bet. The turn was a non-diamond, and I figured him for a flush draw and put him all in. He called with top two pair, and after folding my big blind to a lot of action the next hand, I was left with 435 in chips (before posting) with 120/240/25 blinds. Three people limp for 240, and I push in for 170 more with A3o, hoping to get lucky and quadruple up or so. The big blind pushes over the top and everyone else folds. My ace on the flop beat his QQ, and I’m back to an M of 3 instead of 0. The next hand, I push all in with QQ from the button after a middle position raise. He calls, and I flop a set and beat his 88. Just like that, I went from 435 to 4040 in two hands, after saying “well, I’m pretty much done” in IRC.

I continue limping along, stealing when I can, and pushing most of the time I can open the pot. Twice it doubles me up, with T9s vs KQo (I flopped a gutshot and flush draw, and rivered a 9), and K9s vs A-rag (flopped a 9, turned a K). I made one questionable but lucky fold. There was an early position raise, and a shortstack (shorter than me) push. I had AKo in the big blind, and decided to fold it. The initial raiser, who had me covered, called, and they had 55 and JJ. The flop was AJx, and the river was a 5, so I would have been screwed had I played.

I get lucky (er.. don’t get unlucky) a few times when I bust people shorter than me or double up with AJ vs a lower ace. One hand, I had AJ vs AT vs KQ. The KQ pushed and was shorter than me, I pushed over, and AT had us both covered and called. A king flopped, and I lost the main pot, but winning the sidepot left me at about where I started the hand. I would have been in great shape if I had won that, but instead I had 17k instead of 50k. Still, I limped along to the final table, where I doubled up early, with AQ vs A3 who insta-called my all-in. There’s one bust, and then I finally go out when I get QQ UTG and run into AA. I made it 16k (4x bb), and he made it 44k. I had 93k total, so I could have folded and still had a decent stack, but I figured his re-raising range there was more than just KK and AA. It probably included JJ and TT, and even maybe AQ. He had a big stack (223k), and I didn’t. I pushed, he called and flopped a set. I turned my set, but no runner runner quads for me, and I finished in 8th for $384.

I’ll take it.

Thanks to all my railbirds, including wwonka, byron, Scott, Bobby Bracelet, Nickerson, April, Absinthe, and others, probably.

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Posted by alan to poker at 4:47 pm PT | Link | Comments (2)
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