Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Yesterday I was finally diagnosed with something, and unfortunately that something is going to be requiring a new kidney in what I hope is the distant future. But this isn't a post about that, this is about poker.

Last night I made it out to JK's weekly tournament, which for whatever reason I absolutely love to play in: usually at least 20 players, a comfortable buy in (for me), and a reasonable structure. As anywhere, it seems half of the regulars there are most often dead money, but there's an overall level of skill and unfamiliarity with each other that seems to lead to mostly good play. Read: you can actually get people to fold. Another big plus for me is that I can just relax and play: I spend half the time in my own league worrying about who just got knocked out or made a string bet... and I know these (perhaps unnecessary) distractions hurt my focus. JK runs a good show.

So I had an uneventful tournament, placing well outside the money... but the lure of quarter/half dealer's choice kept me around, and I'm glad it did. I'm not sure I've ever had a hotter 2 hour session in my life.

It began with a $20 buy in, that I rather quickly tripled with a string of boats on PLO8 hands, the overall game of choice for this group. I didn't have much experience with Omaha period until recently, and I still catch myself invested in hands here and there that I've misread, but I love the game. I've tried, oh how I've tried to play PLO8 online, but when every hand takes 12 minutes...

So, I'll cut to the chase, and just say that I had been on fire. Then the undisputed hand of the night happened:

I'm on the button with KK7Q, maybe suited one way. There's a smallish pre-flop raise on, and I call, after most of the table.

Flop: 6d Kd 7s

I nail top set, and immediately start thinking about how I should play this, while I watch a $3 bet get called in multiple places in front of me. Now I know I've got the best hand at this point, but I also know how Omaha can go, and if that third diamond hits without pairing the board, I'm going to be shakey. I want to see what's up, and make someone pay to draw out, but for whatever reason I just double the bet, and get all callers.

Turn: 7d

You sweet, beautiful card! Let's recap: I have the nut full house. Three diamonds on board means someone may have hit the flush. The only hand that I can fear at this point is someone holding pocket 7's for quads, but I have one in my hand making that impossible. If the river is higher than an 8, I'll take down the whole monster.

Then I see the action in front of me: big bet, call, some folds. I don't want to raise here and I totally start feigning weakness, out loud bemoaning the fact that with all that money out there now I'm getting the odds and have to call. To my credit, I acted this one out perfectly. I dejectedly toss more chips into the mountain.

River: Kh

The guy opposite me, again fires out a large bet, anyone else left in the hand folds (presumably working on low hands), and I raise the pot (putting him all-in), and about shit myself when he immediately calls, flipping over a flush. I mutter, "you're not going to like this" and toss out my kings. The guy is a really nice guy, and loses with perfect dignity. I'll leave the value of his play up to you.

I almost felt bad after that hand, but I've rarely raked that many chips at one time. Nobody really counted down the pot, but after I got it all stacked, I had about $190. Not bad for a $20 buy-in. I did lose a little of that back later when I again nailed top set, and faced with a pot bet from a lone opponent, I re-raised the pot setting him all in... (a move I think is 100% correct to make here), and got beat river-style when he made a flush. But what a night.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

OPBC: 77th

I won't bore anyone with any drawn-out details, but I had a great time finishing 77 out of 1473 in the Inaugural OPBC. Really, how can you complain about a freeroll with great prizes? PokerStars++ on this one.

Tournament play has been way brutal for me lately, so it was nice to play for 3.5 hours without giving or receiving any bad beats: just solid play; the best hand wins. I had a few lucky/notable moments along the way, like flopping a straight for free in the BB against someone slowplaying aces, making a set, and even stole some blinds with the hammer when I needed it most. Tournament poker can be one ugly bitch... and that's one of those lessons that sinks in deeper every time you're taught it. So for me, doing well for a change is a giant confidence boost, and that can't be a bad thing.

This was probably my best large tournament result yet, with the only other high finish being 28/250.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Okay, trying to get in under the wire here for the Online Poker Blogger Championship.

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 2833810

Hopefully I make it in, in the next 12 minutes :)

Otherwise on the poker front, there's not much new to report down here in the grind. I've just been working though the long sessions at short-handed .05/.10 NL on PokerStars, and doing a slow, but certainly steady job of building the roll back up.

I've also been dealing with some semi-serious health issues, which have kinda put a lid on blogging here, or agressively forwarding Keystone Poker Tables like I had hoped I could this fall. The good part is, having two weeks off work with explicit instructions for limited physical activity, frees up a big chunk of time for playing poker online.

Hope to see some of you fine people in the Championship.