Wednesday, May 31, 2006 

KK vs. be the judge!

Mini Rant...
I realize this may come across as bitching and moaning...but I find it therapeutic, so bear with me. 

Playing in a $20 180 person max multi table tournament last night.  I was doing rather well throughout and soon enough found myself 2 away from the money with 10,000 in chips.  I'm in late position, an early position player has been throwing a lot of action around for the last ten minutes and it's working out for him.  He's now about even stacked with me.  He's first to act, and goes all in.  He's been making similar plays with QJ, A10, etc.  However, he has yet to risk his entire stack.  He makes the all in push and everyone folds to me on the button.  I have KK.  I hem and haw and really ask myself "how can I lay this down?".  For most I'm sure this is a no brainer, make the call, double up to 20k and change.  But that little voice in my head is screaming "DON'T DO IT!!!". 

So, I make the call.  I just couldn't get away from it.  10 10, JJ, or even QQ I think I could have laid it down.  But I chose to play my KK.  Her turns over AJ of clubs.  I was a little dumbfounded with him risking his entire stack in early position with AJ.  Granted, I like the hand myself, but not THAT much.  Long story short, an A hits on the flop. 

Somehow I managed to control my rage this time.  I blame the Tylenol PM I took about 20 minutes earlier.  I feel I made the right play in that had it worked out in my favor, I would have been in a great position to take it deep in to the money.  Play to win, right?  So, what do you think?  Would you have played it any differently?

All in all...
All in all I did okay last night.  Yeah, that beat knocked the wind out of me but I placed first and second in back to back sit n go's, so I wasn't damaged financially.  Tonight I really want to take a stab at a WSOP satellite.  I'm starting to get fidgety about the WSOP coming up so quickly.  I would feel much more at ease having my seat already secured.  Gotta get crackin' on it!

Until next time,

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006 

Holiday Highlights? Hmmm

Holiday Weekend...
I had high hopes of being online this weekend posting this, reflecting on that. However, sleep ended up taking priority for the duration of my Saturday. From there, I soon found myself deep in to Sunday having fun with Family. Which then overlapped in to Monday. Long story short, I used this weekend as an excuse to relax and vegetate. Very much needed. I really didn't get my poker juices pumping until Sunday afternoon. But once they started, I had a pretty good run.

The reality...
To be perfectly frank, in the span of 3 weeks, I've taken a very healthy bankroll and pissed it away. My 2k was down to a mere $200 in a blink of an eye. The fact that I let it get that bad was just ridiculous but a reality I had to face. I really think I'm on to something though. When I have more money in my account, the worse my play. When I have less, the better I do. So, common sense would suggest I just make a withdrawal. That would be fine and dandy if it wasn't for this strange superstition that many online poker players have. I know I'm being unreasonable, but I swear, every time I make a hefty withdrawal, it appears as though the cards just come differently. For a solid week or two, I have to endure horrible beats in order to start building again. Perhaps the poker gods are toying with me, perhaps the card room themselves have an evil plot, perhaps it's all in my head. Either way, after evaluating my play these past few months, I'm starting to consider making weekly withdrawals based on a percentage of my accumulated winnings. I'm going to give this further thought over the next few days.

The Good News...

Luckily, the storm cloud has lifted. Or so it would appear. In the course of one weekend, I've taken that $200 and brought that back up to roughly $1200. I returned to my 6 handed sit n go's while playing the $20 180 person multi table tournaments. With a few 1st place finishes on the sit n go's and two back to back 5th place finishes on the $20's, with another random MTT money finish, I'm back to a reasonable roll. Now I just need to continue the trend. This peaks and valley's B.S. is for the birds.

Check This Out...

So, I came across this great little blog last week quite pertinent to this crazy poker lifestyle. Check out Rod Moler's Gamblers Insight. Rod tell's it like it is and is set on providing as much information as humanly possible concerning all things related to gambling. If you take gambling seriously, or would like to take it to the next level, I highly recommend you check out Rod's site. Here's an excerpt from his latest and greatest:

is going to be a test for me. I've been doing well over the last week. My finace and I, along with a buddy of mine, are headed for St. Louis this morning to play live poker. It has been a while since I have had live competition other than tournament play. I am hoping to increase my bankroll considerably on this run.
I hope that I get a table that is FULL of the " this is how they do it on T.V." types. The reading of my opponents is what I am trying to brush up on. I played some SNG tournaments this morning starting at 6:30 A.M. I placed 2nd on a 20.00, 1st on a 30.00, and 1st on a 50.00. HOPEFULLY this is the start of a good day."

Good luck in St. Louis Rod! I'm sure you'll return with plenty of material.

Flop the nuts, Damnit!

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Thursday, May 25, 2006 

Semi Rant...

So you're dealt AK late position, you make a large raise deep in a tournament.  Big blind pushes all in for an additional minimal amount.  You have to call, so you do.  You both turn over AK unsuited.  You come to terms with the fact that okay, split pot, I'm not loosing any money.  Flop comes with two suits matching one of his cards.  You already feel it coming.  Runner Runner nightmare.  Turn comes another matched suit for him.  And of course, river gives him the flush. 

You now find yourself in a state of shock.  You contemplate calmly lifting your laptop off the table and very rationaly throwing it in to the wall at a speed that will ensure this scenario never presents itself again.  Instead, you end up taking it out on your undeserving wife who was helplessly sitting on the couch minding her own business.  Petty argument ensues and you're left wondering why you love this game so much.

The moral of this rant?  Don't take bad beats out on your wife!  Sorry honey...


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Wednesday, May 24, 2006 

Yoda of Poker...

Last Night...
I think it's safe to classify myself in a slump this past week or two.  I can't hit the broad side of a barn let alone a flop.  I have very little to report in the line of, with that...let's choose a different topic.

Let's get philosophical...
Was playing a while back online and one person was critiquing another's fold and what merit the fold truly represented as the pot odds were extreme.  A debate ensues.  From out of no where, an individual that had been sitting silently until that point says the following:
"A bad fold is only a small mistake"

I wasn't paying the debate very much attention as I'm usually multi tasking several tables.  But for whatever reason I stopped and repeated this blurb to myself.  A bad fold is only a small mistake...whereas a bad call can be disastrous is really the message I took from this and it really stuck with me from that day.  Sure, you feel like an idiot when you make a fold only to realize you had the best of it when all the cards are turned over.  But in the end, you're only out as much money as you invested in to that pot.  Nothing more, nothing less.  You still have chips and a stake in the game.

The intent here is to not overanalyze the simple stuff.  Sure, you're going to make bad folds from time to time.  But knowing when to make the right call is key!

Conclude my Yoda of Poker thinking I have...mmmmm....

May the force be with you,

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Monday, May 22, 2006 

Weekend Roundup

Unfortunately, no grand milestones achieved this weekend.  I did gain an entry to the $200 big tournament on Stars Sunday, but that proved to be less than climatic.  In all honesty, I played a horrible game in that tournament.  The run of cards was poor the entire time and I allowed it to severely affect my chip stack.  Had I been on my game, I would have recognized what was happening and taken the appropriate action in key positions.  Instead, I let the blinds eat me alive and ended up pushing with a mediocre hand and getting knocked out.  I was very disappointed with my play.

The show must go on.  After accepting my beating, I went on to play a few sit n go’s later that evening.  Won a few, lost a few.  At this point, I was in little mood to really give it my all, so I thought it best to call it a day.  With that, I’m very anxious to get back I the mix this evening. 

Overall, I did not play as much as I would have liked this weekend.  Friday ended up “date night” which was long over due.  My wife and I went to dinner and a movie with friends and saw The Da Vinci Code.  Here’s the part where I play part time movie critic:

Movie Review…
I really enjoyed the book and went in to the movie Friday with fairly high expectations.  Overall, I thought it was a very good movie.  A little hokey at points, but I really enjoyed how closely they stuck to the book.  The role of Silas was played very well.  I even liked Sophie’s part.  And while I enjoy Tom Hanks for the most part, I kind of felt he was just along for the ride reading lines when applicable.  Good movie though all around.  Highly recommend seeing this movie if you have read the book.  I believe it to still be a good movie if you have not read the book, but knowing the deep details provided in the book really made for an enjoyable viewing.

The Da Vinci Code
8 stars out of 10

Heads up play on NBC…
Just curious as to how people have received NBC’s approach to poker.  I caught a few episodes leading up to Sunday’s final show and had mixed feelings.  I think I’m always a little more critical of poker broadcasts since I do try to stay up to speed with current tournament results.  So, watching this, I already know of many key hands and winners.  I think my biggest hang up though is similar to the same issue I have with ESPN.  We all know they cut out 99% of the cards dealt, I get that.  I also realize they want to make for the best television possible.  But my biggest complaint is the sheer unprofessional play by play.  Sure, crack a joke here or there, but don’t try to sway people’s perceptions with a biased approach to the match.  While watching Sunday, I felt several inappropriate exchanges were broadcast between the commentators.  I felt it was to the point where they really want to make villains and hero’s to increase viewership.  And sure, this makes sense even.  But I really think the direction was misguided.  Just report the facts.  In my mind, commentators should be there to bring forth the actions at hand, not provide snide comments.  And that’s what really grinds my gears!  (family guy reference)

I Had an interesting conversation with a good poker buddy this weekend.  We both were reading a posting on a poker forum concerning tells, how to identify them, most common tells, etc.  The post we were reading went in to great detail on several “key” tells but then opened it up for discussion.  My buddy really focused on how important ones facial expressions are at the poker table including eyes and mouth.  While I agreed with him on several factors, I provided a counter point that while facial expressions are very important, it is even more important to properly read ones entire body language.  More specifically, I explained that I really try to focus on ones hands.  Reaching for a stack, screwing with your chips, tapping the table nervously, open palm, closed fist, etc.  I went on to really dig in to just what these items really meant in forms of tells.  It’s one thing to identify that you are viewing these behaviors; it’s another thing entirely relating them to important poker information and how this can bring you profit.  And while we went in to great detail on each possible item, it got really interesting when we started to discuss “reverse tells”.  In the end, it’s all a mind game which is why I love this game so much.  I plan on bringing several items from this discussion in to my blog soon. 

Tonight’s Plan…
Tonight I would really like to do well in the $20 MTT 180 person.  I will probably hit a sit n go or two, but am really focused on smaller successes tonight before taking on larger action.

Until next time,

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Thursday, May 18, 2006 

Drum Roll Please...

Okay,'s the deal. It is my privilege to announce that I have started a new blog over at I'll be a main contributor and certainly hope to do well by them. To link directly to my blog, simply click here. brings forth a pretty interesting concept. They allow you to check out various poker rooms while bringing you, the player, the benefit of accumulating points and cashing them in for items ranging from ipods to WSOP seats. Really is an interesting program. But aside from the business model, they have a great poker community within the forums. Please stop by and check them out! You'll find my writing over there to be similar to what I bring forth here.


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Wednesday, May 17, 2006 

A Billion Hands Later...

Last Night's Recap...
Not much to recount on the poker front last night. I didn't get home from softball until 10pm. By the time I ate dinner and sat down, I only had time for a few sit n go's. Ended up even for the night. Got a little interesting when PokerStars announced a milestone hand was to take place last night. They're currently promoting their 5 billionth hand and are giving away significant cash prizes. So, when they announced last night one of these hands was to take place in the next few minutes, I quickly bought in on 8 no limit tables for minimal amounts. Let me just say, it is far from easy managing 9 separate tables on one laptop. Strangely enough, I didn't loose any money but it was quite the multi tasking event. In any event, I was not on the table that counted.

Tonight's Plan...
I hope to play some quality poker tonight. That's it. I'm not putting any large expectations on tonight play. I simply want to sit down without interruptions and play my game. I have no set plan as to what I will play. Profit will be the main goal.

Looks like I should have a clear path at some point today which will allow me to bring this information to the masses. All 3 of you! Cough. Anyway, as soon as I get clearance, I'll share the details.

Until we meet again,

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006 

Last Night's Wrap Up...

Last night’s play was nothing to write home about. Played in a $20 180 person max multi table tournament and was busted by donkeys. That’s how it goes. I didn’t let this deter me though. Played in several smaller 6 man sit n go’s and did fairly well. As a result, I remain even.

Tonight’s Plan…
I’m not sure how tonight will pan out. I have a softball game at 8:30 which is an unusually late start time compared to our normal 5:30 start time. Somewhat poor weather today as well. Not sure if the game will take place. If it’s cancelled I plan on getting involved with a few satellites tonight. If the game takes place, I won’t arrive home until close to 10pm. If that’s the case, I only foresee a few sit n go’s in my future tonight. We shall see.

Pending Announcement…
I’ve been working on a deal that will bring my writing to a new audience. The details are finalized and the plan is in motion. I hope to announce later today exactly what this will entail.

More to follow…

Monday, May 15, 2006 

Various Random Thoughts

So the weekend has come and gone and while I may not be any more the wiser, I did catch up on some rest and relaxation. Played a small bit Sunday evening and sustained. Didn't devote a large amount of time to the grand concept of poker theory. Really wanted to not think this weekend. We'll see over the course of the next few days if it had any positive impact on my play.

What did I do this weekend you ask? Let's see, Friday I played Karaoke DJ at the local VFW. It just doesn't get any better than that. Try to compare your Friday night, I dare you. Truth is, did a favor for my Mom and Dad who happen to run a Karaoke business. They're all the rage in all the local VFW's, Moose Lodges, etc. So, when Mom couldn't make her grand appearance, the good son to the rescue. I had to keep the music somewhat low key. Didn't want anyone breaking a hip.

Saturday? Poked around a lot but finally ended up seeing a movie. Wife and I saw Mission Impossible 3. Not the best movie ever, but certainly not the worst either. I would provide a full review if this was a movie review blog but alas, I shall spare thee my impressions. Although, this is in fact my blog and I can write whatever I darn well please. Okay, I'll keep it brief. Tom Cruise if far too in to himself, the movie was lackluster with some decent action scenes. Bad guy death scene was somewhat cool. Somewhat predictable. With all the Tom Cruise hoopla lately and his personal attack against South Park, I found it my duty to not pay for his movie. Instead, I purchased tickets to United 93 knowing proceeds go to 9/11 victims.

Mission Impossible 3
5 Stars out of 10

After the movie if you're ever on A1A in St. Augustine, I highly recommend Caps. A great restaurant on the Intercoastal Waterway with great ambiance. My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful meal with perfect weather. Not too hot, not too cool which is a rarity in Florida.

And Sunday? Mother's Day. We had my parents over for a festive cookout in the back yard. Another fine Florida day with a happy Mother to boot.

All in all a good weekend. Was good to just have some quality time on the homefront. Probably not the most interesting reading poker wise, but peace of mind can go a long way for your game. With that...I'm off to play some poker damnit!


Thursday, May 11, 2006 


Starting Balance: $1,752.00
Ending Balance: $1,500.00

As evident by the above starting/ending balance, it is safe to say that my head is still firmly lodged in my ass. So, the question is, what now? I've done my share of self analyses. I've reviewed the tapes so to speak. While part of me is apt to blame dumb luck, the logical side of my brain is convinced I'm lacking the same focus I would normally have. Is this due to the increased bankroll? Are there too many distractions when I'm playing? These are not easy questions to answer for me. I've made my share of money while watching television, surfing the net, writing in my blog, and downloading music all at the same time. Not smart, I realize, but I'm the type that has to multi-task to the point of obsession. Hence playing in several tournaments at any given time.


Alright, I'm not going to beat myself up too severely here. Up's and Down's are part of the game. So endure I shall. My strategy will entail taking a more reserved approach to the tournaments I buy in to tonight. I'm going to await my cards, and when I get them, be aggressive to a certain degree. If I tank tonight, my next step will be a simple break for a few days. Which may be needed anyway. Sometimes when I step back and take a break, it allows me to gain perspective. When I return to the game, I find things just click. Clarity is a wonderful thing.

Anyhoo, I'll let everyone know how tonight turns out as soon as possible. Until then...flop the nuts!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006 

What Would You Do? Part 2

Starting Balance: $2,009.00
Ending Balance: $1,752.00

Before we get in to yesterday's scenario, would someone please tell me to get my head out of my ass? Last night's play was horrible on my part. I truly stank. Not even going to bother over analyzing it. I just played very poorly.

One concept I'm digging in to today though, despite my commitment not to over analyze last night's play, is the thought that perhaps I become a loose cannon when my bankroll increases. When I'm struggling financially I play an entirely different game. I can practice the patience speech I give far easier when I have more riding on the line. When I have a bankroll, I convince myself that 10 J suited is worth calling an extra few chips.

Today's Goal?
Remove head from ass and proceed with caution.

What Would You Do? Part 2
To pick up where I left off yesterday, the big blind checks to me, I'm committed. Ace on the board and I'm sitting there with AK. At this point, I'm thinking happy thoughts and decide to push the remainder of my 4k in chips. Immediately the big blind calls. The time it takes for a caller to show their cards on PokerStars is almost instantaneous, however, even before the cards are shown, I see my worst fear is about to come true. Sure enough, he reveals AA. Game Over.

No happy ending this time around. I was certainly frustrated with the outcome, but in hindsight, I did the right thing. I can feel good about horrible outcomes if I can properly justify my steps. I really do not believe I would have played this hand any differently.

Thanks for the few comments yesterday with a special thanks to Paul for stopping by. Please check out his blog as he documents his decision to make a living playing poker. Good stuff.

Take care,

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 

What Would You Do? Part 1

Starting balance: $1,995.00
Ending Balance: $2,009.00

First things first, I didn't lose last night! So, things must be looking up, right? mumble mumble

Okay, so here's the deal. Going to pose a scenario and let you stew on it.

You're playing in a $20 multi table tournament with a 180 person maximum. Through the duration of the tournament you're doing fairly well. Not really big stacked, not really short stacked. You're playing just below the individual chip average. You end up on a decent run without about 30 people left putting you in a good position to make the money. 18 places pay out. You slow things down a tad and await your hands. Your 10k in chips are now down to around 8.5k with blinds eating away. Time goes on and you take note that there are 19 people left. One more and you're in the money. You're two behind the button and you're dealt AK suited. At this point, everyone is folding to any bet in hopes of the money. Two calls to the big blind in front of you, you raise a considerable amount hoping to scoop up some chips. Big blind calls. Two others fold. Flop comes A 10 6 rainbow. Big blind checks to you.
You now have 4k in chips to work with. What would you do?

Would love to hear your thoughts...

Monday, May 08, 2006 

Caution-Poker Rant!

A rant if you will...

While playing poker online has it's up's, down, pros, cons, etc; I often miss the action of live play in brick and mortar establishments. This rant will support a stance probably not verbalized very often.

Jacksonville, Florida is obviously not known for it's stellar live action-casino wise. However, quite a few good home games pop up on various nights of the week. When I can, I'll check these options out. Some offer half way decent tournaments now and again. Out of convenience I'll often check out The Poker Room. This is a decommissioned dog track which now supports simulcast racing. If you've been reading along, bear with me as I give a little back story.

The entire second floor has been remodeled with a 40+ table poker room. Action in the ring games can not surpass $2 bets. This obviously doesn't much interest me. But the tournaments they offer do in fact interest me. Fact is, I solely play tournaments these days and I look for every opportunity I can. They offer several variations (shoots outs, MTT's, Double Shoot Outs) on their tournaments all with a $45 buy in. While it's great they offer these tournaments, the biggest issue I have with this place is the quality player that it attracts. I've come to accept this. Actually, I've come to embrace this. My rationale is that the greater mix of players, the better prepared I am to meet anyone head on in the future. Bottom line, great practice.

So, why all this back story? No real reason. Why am I writing this post? When someone annoys you in a live game, it's much more difficult to tell the idiot in question to SHUT THE HELL UP! Never know the true extent of that person's idiocy and sanity and what the repercussions may be. When you're playing online and you come across your random idiot, you can choose to ignore them, turn off chat, or engage in verbal warfare without much fear of repercussion. This afternoon while playing a few turbo tournaments at
The Poker Room, I came across more blathering idiots per capita in the span of 2 hours than I care to ever come across again. I say this not because of their quality of play but for the sheer amount of verbal garbage they are able to spew forth. My god, just SHUT UP and PLAY!

So, to review today's lesson:
Don't take online play for granted. It's much easier to cope with idiots online than it is off. Just my two cents.

Okay, I'll stop my rant. Had to get it off my chest. And yes, I realize that table talk is part of the game. No problems there. I can handle it. This was more a matter of catching me on a bad day and just reaching my idiot limit.



Winning Online Poker Tournaments

Starting balance: $2,190.00
Ending Balance: $1,995.00

When you can do no right...
There are days you can do no wrong and hit every flop you play. Then, there are days like yesterday where you can do absolutely no right.

I played in several multi table tournaments yesterday in hopes of making a good showing. I did absolutely horrible in everything I touched. My JJ all-in against, QQ. My AK all-in against AA. Every single time I had a great starting hand, I found myself up against a better hand. And when I did find AA in the hole, everyone folded to me before I even placed a bet.

I realize online poker is not "rigged". But like I said a few weeks ago, you got to wonder which poker god you pissed off after a day like yesterday.

I will say this though. This blog is helping me a great deal in determining areas I require improvement on. As I was getting ready for work this morning and reflecting on my play from yesterday, I was working out a script in my head for the blog. As I contemplated my actions and the reasons for my poor showing it was like a lightbulb going off over my head. This is my conclusion:

I was very frustrated that I had very limited time to play poker this weekend. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to gain this WSOP entry. Obviously, I do not yet have it. Along with the tournament entry, I want to maintain a healthy bankroll with a steady drive to increase said bankroll. So, beyond World Series of Poker satellites, I strive to perform well in normal multi table tournaments. So, with limited time to concentrate on my play this weekend, by the time I finally did get some down time to play yesterday evening, I wanted to cram everything in to the few hours I had available. While I had plenty of opportunities with great starting hands, in hindsight, I simply played these hands far too aggressively putting too much on the line. I didn't leave myself enough outs with bad beats in mind. Bad beats are part of the game, I certainly understand that. But when you risk your entire chip stack and loose, you have nothing to build back from.

So, while my main rule of thumb is patience, I failed to take that to the next level yesterday. I waited for my hands, but I failed to play them correctly when they finally did come. I wanted to take these opportunities and use them to double up at all costs. This was the wrong approach to have. The key item missing yesterday was optimizing these opportunities. Therefore, this is the adjustment I will make moving forward.

Winning Online Poker Tournaments...

To summarize:
  • Practice patience
  • Don't be overly aggressive just because you have limited playing time
  • Optimize your play
  • Leave yourself outs when applicable
  • Only play when you have the time to spend playing the right way
Tonight's Plan...
Don't Loose!

Until next time...

Saturday, May 06, 2006 

Stupid Tequila...

Stupid Tequila...
Yeah, so...Tequila has certainly put a damper on my poker progression for the day. Did the whole Cinco de Mayo thing last night. Strangely, wasn't hung over. Just really tired today. Didn't even get home all that late. So, just taking it easy today. Spent the day hanging out with family. Actually, had some fun with the Derby today. During our gallivanting today, made a pit stop at the dog track and made a few strategic wagers on the horse race. I fell in to a pile of poo. I know absolutely nothing when it comes to betting on horses, dogs, chickens, whatever. Figured it all out and made several small bets but made one larger one on the 8 horse. Damn horse came in! I was extremely pleased. Wasn't expecting a nickel. Just wanted to take part in the excitement. Nice surprise indeed.

Anyhoo, going to hit a satellite tonight and call it a day.

until tomorrow...

Friday, May 05, 2006 


Starting balance: $2,250.00
Ending Balance: $2,190.00

Not much to talk about today. Played a $10 MTT, $30 MTT, and a turbo $10 MTT last night, none of which had the result I was looking for. Just a blah night poker wise. Never really found the cards to work with and really didn't take advantage of position as I should have.

Life goes on. Today is a new day, blah blah blah. The plan for this evening will not really revolve around poker. Being cinco de mayo, I feel inclined to pay tribute to Mr. Mayo and enjoy a refreshing adult beverage or two at casa de Chili's. I'm not quite sure if it'll be a late night just yet though. I'll know more as the day progresses.

Weekend Plans...
Aside from working in the yard and watering the hell out of my sod, I do plan on focusing on WSOP satellites and gaining an entry in to this weeks $200 at pokerstars. Time to get this damn WSOP package in hand and be done with it! Grrrr.


Thursday, May 04, 2006 

Congress Moves Forward On Putting Online Poker Players In Jail

Original story can be viewed here

Here's the deal:

Those students who are upsetting professors by playing online poker while in class may have a bigger problem to deal with: five years hard time. We've mentioned this before, but many Americans who play online poker insist that the only ones at legal risk are the operators of online poker sites. The current law is ambiguous on this (and ambiguous on whether or not poker is considered "gambling"), but the Justice Department has made statements claiming that players of online poker and similar online games involving better could be committing crimes. To help clarify this, some Congressman have put forth legislation that makes these things illegal (subject to five years in jail). The bill in question has now been approved by a Congressional subcommittee. Similar bills have been put forth before and failed to get anywhere, and this one has a very long way to go before it becomes a law... but you have to wonder about any piece of legislation that would turn so many people into criminals overnight. Meanwhile, financial institutions are opposing the bill, noting that it would require them to get involved in trying to stop customers from gambling online -- an enforcement job they don't want. However, those same financial institutions are probably happy to note that the bill carves out an exemption for buying and selling stocks online -- which some people (often reasonably) do view as a form of gambling.

I figured this story bears mentioning in that should such a scenario come to fruition, this would severely impact my play. Granted, I'm sure should something like this take place, alternatives and loopholes will emerge. However, every few weeks it seems such news makes it's way to the forefront of the semi-public eye. As the story mentions, this has a long way to go, but I'm surely going to keep my eye on crap like this. Although, maybe this will be the reason I need to move to Costa Rica. Hmmm...

If anyone cares to comment...please do.


A Little Recap

Let's do a little recap here:

Starting balance for March: $100
Current balance as of May 4: $2,250.00
Replenishment of bankroll: $0

So, to make matters simple, I'm working with $2,150.00 profit.
Not bad in the grand scheme of things. In review of these past two months, I've certainly been up and down. Certainly pleased with my current status and remain extremely focused on the main goal. That of course being this years World Series of Poker.

The ongoing plan at this point will be to focus more directly on Satellites for the WSOP. While always on the forefront of my mind, it has been a priority to build my bankroll first with the occasional satellite. Time to change gears a bit.

Last Night...
I didn't go overboard last night. Played two tournaments, cashed in one. Played the $10 MTT and was doing extremely well. Made a move late in the tournament and was simply beat. No bad beat, no bad play on my part. He had a better hand. No sense in over analyzing that particular play. Also found myself doing very well in the $20 180 max tournament. Placed 14 in this tournament with a small profit. Was getting low on chips and pushed with 55. A 10 called and caught an A on the flop and to add insult to injury, another A on the turn. Oh well.

Tonight's Plan...
Tonight will have a focus on Satellites obviously. I am however interested in taking part in the $160 MTT at 9pm. I haven't touched this tournament in quite some time. Probably close to a year since I've played this one. My bankroll hasn't been able to support such tournaments. However, this may be a good opportunity. Last year, when I was playing this tournament regularly, I was doing extremely well. The field was manageable, the players half way decent, etc. Having not participated in so long, I now wonder how that field has changed. I'll do some scouting before signing up.

Just one to share from last night:

PokerStars Tournament #24145911, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $20.00/$2.00
180 players
Total Prize Pool: $3600.00
Tournament started - 2006/05/03 - 20:03:34 (ET)

Dear JvilleWhip,

You finished the tournament in 15th place.
A $43.20 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

You earned 79.90 tournament leader points in this tournament.
For information about our tournament leader board, see our web site at


Wednesday, May 03, 2006 

A Quick Update...

A quick update...
Didn't play online last night. Got a great invitation to a tournament on SunCruz Casino. If you're not familiar with Jacksonville, Fl. We have casino boats that go out to sea and allow typical casino games. SunCruz has always offered various tournaments throughout the week, but I tend to stay away. To be perfectly honest, I just hate the waiting game one has to endure to get in to international waters to begin the action, and the return trip back in to port. Being that you have a very limited amount of time to "gamble", the tournament structure usually endures a very increased blind structure. Granted, I can usually conform to various formats, but with 20 minute levels and blinds pretty much doubling each step up, it's a hard format to follow. For example, blinds to 200-400, to 300-500 which isn't so bad, but then up to 500-1000, 2000-4000, 4000-8000 etc. With a starting stack of 10k in chips, just not my cup of tea.

I was lured last night though with the promise of a WSOP Panama package being awarded to the last man standing of those opting to pay an extra $40 on top of the tournament entry. Was a pretty good promo so figured what the hell. To give a synopsis on the entire tournament, I probably played a total of 5 hands. I doubled up with QQ in the first 10 minutes but just couldn't build from there. Every hand, raise, re-raise, all in, call call. Made it extremely hard to bluff. Therefore, I made the adjustment to wait for my hand. But with the blinds increasing as mentioned, I soon found myself shortstacked having to make a move. When I finally did move all in with A5 clubs, caller w/ A7, caller with 10 J. The 10 J hits a straight on the turn and away I go.

In hindsight, simply a crap shoot. I suppose it was worth the attempt as the payout would have been nice with 52 people and the Panama package offered on top. Wasn't meant to be last night though.

While I'm at hell with the blackjack dealers out there too! Damnit!
(Thankfully I'm not bitter)

Tonights Plan?
I have a softball game directly following work. Should be online, ready for action around 7:30. Going to take it easy tonight and ease myself in. Probably hit up the $10 MTT at 7:45 and put it on auto pilot from there. If i'm feeling it, I plan on a few larger tournaments with the WSOP satellites in my sights.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006 

Merlot in a Box?

Merlot in a box and Poker just don't mix... I could probably leave it at that and not have to say another word...but what fun would that be. The harsh reality though is that not only does Merlot in a box not mix well with poker, it certainly does not help ones morning the next day. Today's Lesson? Suppose we can look back on an earlier post...while a beer or two may relax ones self, do NOT drink a box of merlot while playing several tournaments. Sigh.

So, didn't make a dime last night. Luckily I didn't play higher buy-in tournaments, so didn't really take a hit on the bankroll.

Tonight's Goal...
Tonight's goal is simple. I plan on playing a few mid level sit n go's with a focus on the $20 180 person max MTT. Will also take part in a few WSOP satellites tonight. Going to put forth an aggressive game tonight and mix things up a little.

More to follow.


Monday, May 01, 2006 

A Good Weekend

A good weekend...
I'll cut right to the chase. I have accomplished my goal for the weekend and then some. Still can't retire, but we're getting there, lol.

You'll recall my intent to win a satellite for Sunday's 1 million tournament at Being the last Sunday of the month, the buy-in increases to $500. Good chunk of change. Normally the one table satellites cost $27 for entry in to the typical $200. With the increase however, satellites for the one table set up are $70. Took two stabs at these Saturday night to no avail. I didn't play very long Saturday night. Could not cash to save my life. After a few satellites and minimal success on the sit n go's, I called it an early evening and got a good nights sleep.

Sunday rolls around and I find myself back in Sod hell. However, the yard is now complete and I will not be laying any additional sod for a very very long time. Once I wrapped up the yard though I decided to take one last crack at the $70 satellite. I figured it would be worth the risk bankroll wise. Been fairly healthy with some decent wins lately. What the hell.
I get involved with this satellite and decide to really bear down and practice the patience factor I so lovingly speak of. Ended up getting fairly low in chips but sustained until I found myself with 5 people remaining. Waited for a few key starting hands and found myself the chip leader 4 times over. Finally got heads up and took a huge hit. Ended up out chipped 3/1. In similar situations in times past I usually get frustrated and tilt myself out of the tournament and move on to the next satellite since I've essentially won my money back for 2nd place. In this case though, I decided to keep playing my game. Turns out I called him on 2 very important bluffs putting me back in a commanding lead. He tried bluffing off the rest of his chips with 7 2 suited. I call with A 10 and my hand holds. Off to the $500 tourney at 4:30.

This accomplishment felt pretty good. While only a satellite to some, like I've been saying, these satellites have been eluding me for several weeks causing me to really analyze my play on these games. I think it's fair to say where my shortcomings fall in to place on these tournament. Adjust I shall.

So, 4:15 rolls around and I'm as mentally prepared as I'm going to be. Wifey poo was extremely supportive. She left the house. lol. She headed off to the movies while I was left to my own devices. When I'm playing in the big tournaments, she really does offer a supportive hand and I certainly thank her for that. To ensure I have no disruptions I decided to let the dogs out one last time. Huge mistake. Having just laid the sod, I forgot to gate my back yard after watering it earlier. As a result, my 3 dogs are roaming the neighborhood and I have 8 minutes until start time. I start to run outside to grab them and realize I'm in pajama bottoms. Normally wouldn't care, but these had gnomes on them. Nevermind. Anyway, I throw on some shorts and run outside praying this is not a sign from above. First dog runs right up to me no problems at all. 2nd dog doesn't know what the hell's going on and just goes right in the front door. Then there's Oliver. Half way down the street I go running. Strangely enough though, he doesn't put up a chase. I grabbed him and heaved him over my shoulder and returned him to the house. 2 minutes to spare.

I finally sit down with my heart racing. My hope was to sit back, calm down and get in to a groove. No luck. First hand AJ suited. I raise, call call. Nothing on the flop. I bet, fold fold. Okay, I can live with that. Second hand AK. JESUS! Leave me alone for a few minutes I'm thinking. I raise, one caller. We take it to the river and split the pot.

After that, things calmed down for quite a bit. I took a hard hit in the second hour which really had me scrambling for a decent hand. I ended up making some moves which got me back in to a comfortable position. Hour after hour passes and I continue to find myself just slightly under the chip average. I never really obtained a huge stack but just continued to fly under the radar. After nearly 4 hours, finally approached the money cut off. Naturally, everyone tightens up like a drum. Often times, I'll use this opportunity to scoop up key pots and add to my pot. However, I was in a position where I wasn't really hurting for chips, yet I wasn't really far ahead. So, rather than go all out, I decided to bunker down and await the money. As it turns out, ended up stealing 2 pots with decent hands anyway which did help. Finally made it to the money. At this point, the fireworks fly. People pushing all in left and right and before I even get a chance to make a play, I find myself in the next payout bracket. This continues for some time and I keep pushing up that money bracket which is perfectly fine by me. Had a pretty good stack at one point but the blinds quickly became a factor and I found myself having to make some plays. This worked out for a while...but I ended up shortstacked with 88 and made a final stand. Two callers, AK and 10 10. A on the flop and it was all over. Fished 124th out of 2323 players. I was very pleased with this. Payout was $1626.10 bringing my bankroll on stars up to $2500. Not bad for a $70 investment.

What's next?
I've got some choices to make as I move forward. This will really allow me to hit the WSOP satellites hard. However, I want to choose a path and concentrate on it. I'm thinking of increasing my sit n go buy in's while working toward the WSOP. I'm going to be thinking on this today before going in half cocked. I should have a more detailed strategy moving in to this evening.

Thanks for everyone's support...

Win Wrap Up...

PokerStars Tournament #23112706, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $500.00/$30.00
2323 players
Total Prize Pool: $1161500.00
Tournament started - 2006/04/30 - 16:30:00 (ET)

Dear JvilleWhip,

You finished the tournament in 124th place.
A $1,626.10 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

You earned 160.11 tournament leader points in this tournament.
For information about our tournament leader board, see our web site at

PokerStars Tournament #23981244, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $35.00/$3.00
6 players
Total Prize Pool: $210.00
Tournament started - 2006/04/30 - 18:00:21 (ET)

Dear JvilleWhip,

You finished the tournament in 1st place.
A $136.50 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

PokerStars Tournament #23966371, No Limit Hold'em
Super Satellite
Buy-In: $65.00/$5.00
9 players
Total Prize Pool: $585.00
Target Tournament #23112706 Buy-In: $530.00
1 tickets to the target tournament

Tournament started - 2006/04/30 - 13:13:50 (ET)

Dear JvilleWhip,

You finished the tournament in 1st place.
You qualified to play in Tournament #23112706 and are automatically registered for it.
See Tournament #23112706 Lobby for further details.

If you choose to unregister from this tournament your account will be credited
with $530.00 Tournament dollars. Tournament dollars can be used to buy into
any tournament.
Visit our web site at
for more details.

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