Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sometimes You Get the Donkey

It has been far too long since I got a major adrenaline rush out of a poker hand, but last night I was playing in a 1/2 NL live game at Sam's Town after washing out of the late tournament, when I got one of the best hands I've had in a long time.

I was staring at pocket kings UTG, and raised to $7, which wasn't really that big of a raise given the way the game had been running, but I knew that even the idiots at the table had a tight image of me, and anything more than what had been my standard raise up to that point would have won me a measly $3, tip not included.

I got 4 callers, including the BB.

The flop came Qc Kc Qs and I nearly wet myself. BB checks, I check, checks all around, but I knew someone had a Q. It was just that kind of game.

The turn was a 5s, BB checks, and I figure I may as well test the waters. I toss in $25, two players behind me fold, the BB flat calls me. River is the As, and the BB checks while staring off at the TV uninterested in the game.

Huge tell for this guy... I have not a doubt in my mind. I'm getting paid, and push all-in without the slightest of hesitation.

He jumps out of his chair and practically screams, "I call!". As his arm is coming down to ghetto-slap his cards on the table, I casually toss my KK onto the board and watch with a joy I rarely get anymore.

The man goes pale, and his legs loosen like he just took a right hook from Tyson, bracing himself with his free hand on the table as he tries to turn his Qh 5d back down to muck it, but it's too late, we've all seen it, and the few good players at the table are trying unsucessfully not to laugh. I bank four bills and send the tourist back to his room with a christmas "bad beat" story for his wife.

It's about time one of these morons called my UTG raise out of position with shit cards and got what they deserved. I needed to write it down here just to put future bad beats in perspective.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Glasses Down!

"I would feel bad just ditching you with strangers while I go play poker, but I think I'm going to ditch you with strangers while I go play poker." - Me, to Waffle (roomate, not blogger).

By the time we got to Caesar's the blogger tourney was already nearing the end, so I wandered around to see who was present. My roomate knew the one of the masseuses in the room, and I had to carry on without him for a few minutes.

I recognized April and Gracie railbirding the last two tables, so I went over to say hi and reintroduce myself from this summer, when I had met them briefly. After I told Gracie that my roomate was with me, and what he did for a living ("Senior Aquarist" for the forum shops... he gets paid to feed fish or something), she immediately seemed to lose interest in the game, and wanted to go "see the fishies". I introduced my roomate to them and while they haggled over arranging a private tour, I went looking for Iggy, who I heard was donking it up at a nearby 3/6 table.

"We got seats open." he said, but I never play when drinking, so after checking with Waffle to make sure he was Ok with his new tourguide duties, I grabbed an empty chair next to Grubby and asked for a waitress (who took a little over 45 minutes to appear), ordered a few glasses of Jack & water, and embraced my inner donkey. Also present were Grubbette and Linda. About an hour later I caught an ace on the river to go with the two in my hand, and figured being up $9 was as good a time as any to go get something to eat before heading acroos the street to the PokerTek shindig at the Imperial Palace.

After a quick snack I met up with a friend who deals (poker, not drugs) in front of the Palace, who I invited because of his obvious professional interest in the automated tables. When we finally navigated our way to the room the party was being held, we were surprised to find that we were the first to arrive (I don't think that's ever happened to me before), which meant we were first to choose our chairs next to the open bar. This later turned out to not matter at all, since I spent all my time playing on the tables, and the open bar had no whiskey.

As for PokerTek, I didn't like the tournament table, but I want desperately to see the heads-up table in bars around Vegas. Especially bars that already have Gaming licenses. I get all tingley when I think of drunken slot junkies lined up in front of that thing on a Saturday night. Hopefully the insanely aggressive blind structure was for demo mode only.

Eventually we headed back downstairs to find seats at the Pai Gow tables where I managed to run through $300 in a little less than an hour playing with Maigrey, who introduced me to the game last summer, and Garth, who had a theory about keeping our sunglasses down during the hand to intimidate the dealer. It didn't work.

Eventually I had to leave to meet up with some Vegas locals, which I'll probably continue to regret until the next WPBT meetup. In fact, next time I'm going to make sure my schedule is clear for the entire weekend.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Anyone Seen My Saddle?

"Where's your hat at?" - question most asked of me last weekend.

Strange thing about my penchant for cheap $5 Walmart "cowboy" hats. Half the people I know think I look funny when I'm wearing one, the other half think I look funny without it. Perhaps I'm just funny looking. In any case, I only wear them during the summer when I need to protect my scalp from the Vegas sun, because Walmart doesn't carry them all year long, and I have a bad habit of giving them away to random people during my regular drunken binges.


One week ago today, the bloggers started coming into town for the weekend, and about this time last Thursday I was sitting at my desk, finishing my work for the week, and looking forward to tracking them down for drinks that evening. I went home, ate some dinner, changed out of the work clothes, then decided maybe a short nap was in order being rather tired after my standard 4 day work week of 10 hour shifts.

When I woke up early on Friday morning, I was a bit upset about missing out on the early chance to see everyone, but figured I'd catch up with them later that night. No problem. In the meantime, I decided to play a little online poker. There was a HORSE tourney starting on Full Tilt, so I played. A few hours later I finished in 3rd, decided I was on a roll, headed out to my regular haunt, Sam's Town, to see if I could keep it going.

I ended up playing in the 7pm tourney there, where I cashed in first. Technically, it was a 2 way chop, but my reputation there is such that even though we had the same number of chips, my headsup opponent didn't want to play me, and offered me an extra $200 to split it with him. I will never understand that, but I will never turn it down either. Why work for the money when they give it to you?

It's hard to quit when your running good, so I decided to play in the 11pm also, figuring I could easily catch up with everyone later that night. Instead, I went out on the bubble, and decided the strip was too far to drive for drinks, so headed to the local bar to celebrate the days winnings.

At approximately 8am I realized that I was really, really drunk, and the Blogger tourney was starting in a mere 5 hours. "No fucking way I'm missing out on all that dead money", I told myself, and headed home for a nap.

When I woke up (still drunk) at 2pm, I cursed a bit, took a shower, then called my roomate to see if he needed to be bailed out of anywhere. He had passed out at a party on the north side of town, woke up a few hours later, and drove directly to the very same bar I had left earlier that morning, where he was enjoying a tasty beverage. I told him about my wins the night before.

"Whiskey Money?", he asked.

"Whiskey Money.", I responded, "You get us to Caesar's, I'll find a way to get us home.", and a half hour later we finally met up with the blogger crew in the poker room.

Things get sort of fuzzy from there, but I'm starting to put the pieces together.


Last night I took down the HORSE 4k Gaurantee on Full Tilt. Going into headsup play (beginning in the Razz round) I was a 4 to 1 dog in chips. My $50k to his $200k plus.

40 minutes later we enter the Hold'em round, and I have the chip lead by ~50k, and a monster psychological advantage. It is damned hard to come from that kind of deficit in any form of limit poker.

I have my Grandfather to thank for the win. Anytime I saw him when I was younger, he would lay claim to whatever allowance money I had playing headsup stud with me. He never soft played me. I used to get upset after a loss, try to whine my money back out of him, but he never relented.

In more ways than one, it was a good lesson.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Rafe Furst is rigged.

FTOPS Event #7 Razz

Razz is a mean enough game without trying to play while Rafe Furst is on your left the entire time.

Witness the horror after the jump:

Full Tilt Poker Game #1263598415: FTOPS Event #7 (8721985), Table 23 - 120/240 Ante 20 - Limit Razz - 22:20:50 ET - 2006/11/17
Seat 1: CbrCmmndr (2,693)
Seat 2: gnsd22 (5,053)
Seat 3: SnickerSnack (3,382)
Seat 5: Rafe Furst (2,839)
Seat 6: hroark1 (2,739)
Seat 7: scotyno (4,466)
Seat 8: bceagle1976 (2,828)
CbrCmmndr antes 20
gnsd22 antes 20
SnickerSnack antes 20
Rafe Furst antes 20
hroark1 antes 20
scotyno antes 20
bceagle1976 antes 20
*** 3RD STREET ***
Dealt to CbrCmmndr [3s]
Dealt to gnsd22 [7h]
Dealt to SnickerSnack [6d Ah] [5h]
Dealt to Rafe Furst [4s]
Dealt to hroark1 [9c]
Dealt to scotyno [6s]
Dealt to bceagle1976 [2s]
hroark1 is high with [9c]
hroark1 brings in for 40
scotyno completes it to 120
bceagle1976 folds
CbrCmmndr folds
gnsd22 calls 120
SnickerSnack calls 120
Rafe Furst calls 120
hroark1 folds
*** 4TH STREET ***
Dealt to gnsd22 [7h] [7d]
Dealt to SnickerSnack [6d Ah 5h] [4c]
Dealt to Rafe Furst [4s] [3c]
Dealt to scotyno [6s] [9s]
Rafe Furst checks
scotyno checks
gnsd22 checks
SnickerSnack checks
*** 5TH STREET ***
Dealt to gnsd22 [7h 7d] [5d]
Dealt to SnickerSnack [6d Ah 5h 4c] [3d]
Dealt to Rafe Furst [4s 3c] [Ts]
Dealt to scotyno [6s 9s] [7s]
SnickerSnack checks
Rafe Furst bets 240
scotyno calls 240
gnsd22 calls 240
SnickerSnack raises to 480
Rafe Furst calls 240
scotyno folds
gnsd22 folds
*** 6TH STREET ***
Dealt to SnickerSnack [6d Ah 5h 4c 3d] [3h]
Dealt to Rafe Furst [4s 3c Ts] [Tc]
SnickerSnack bets 240
Rafe Furst calls 240
*** 7TH STREET ***
Dealt to SnickerSnack [6d Ah 5h 4c 3d 3h] [Jh]
SnickerSnack bets 240
Rafe Furst raises to 480
SnickerSnack calls 240
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Rafe Furst shows [5s 2h 4s 3c Ts Tc As] (5,4,3,2,A)
SnickerSnack mucks
Rafe Furst wins the pot (3,540) with 5,4,3,2,A
SnickerSnack: arg
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3,540 | Rake 0
Seat 1: CbrCmmndr folded on 3rd St.
Seat 2: gnsd22 folded on 5th St.
Seat 3: SnickerSnack mucked [Jh 6d 5h 4c 3d 3h Ah] - 6,5,4,3,A
Seat 5: Rafe Furst showed [5s 2h 4s 3c Ts Tc As] and won (3,540) with 5,4,3,2,A
Seat 6: hroark1 folded on 3rd St.
Seat 7: scotyno folded on 5th St.
Seat 8: bceagle1976 folded on 3rd St.

SnickerSnack: the site is legit, but I think rafe furst is rigged
Rafe Furst: lol
SnickerSnack: 6 low in 5 cards
Rafe Furst: i have this button called "River Me Da Nuts"
Rafe Furst: i assumed everyone had it


Friday, November 03, 2006

Help Me Understand

Hand History after the jump...

I can't even begin to wrap my head around this.

Full Tilt Poker Game #1191200374: $10 + $1 Sit & Go (8196818), Table 5 - 25/50 - No Limit Hold'em - 20:31:28 ET - 2006/11/03
Seat 1: SnickerSnack (1,425)
Seat 2: skip1640 (775)
Seat 3: strohsix (1,180)
Seat 4: Leinad W (2,175)
Seat 5: CHEEKS (705)
Seat 6: auutone (5,570)
Seat 8: orourket5 (1,345)
Seat 9: Paul_the_Lion (2,260)
auutone posts the small blind of 25
orourket5 posts the big blind of 50
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to SnickerSnack [6c Kc]
Paul_the_Lion calls 50
SnickerSnack calls 50
skip1640 folds
strohsix folds
Leinad W folds
CHEEKS folds
auutone folds
orourket5 checks
*** FLOP *** [6d Th 8d]
orourket5 checks
Paul_the_Lion checks
SnickerSnack bets 100
orourket5 calls 100
Paul_the_Lion calls 100
*** TURN *** [6d Th 8d] [Kd]
orourket5 bets 475
Paul_the_Lion folds
SnickerSnack raises to 1,275, and is all in
orourket5 calls 720, and is all in
SnickerSnack shows [6c Kc]
orourket5 shows [3c 5d]
Uncalled bet of 80 returned to SnickerSnack
*** RIVER *** [6d Th 8d Kd] [9d]
SnickerSnack shows two pair, Kings and Sixes
orourket5 shows a flush, King high
orourket5 wins the pot (2,865) with a flush, King high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2,865 | Rake 0
Board: [6d Th 8d Kd 9d]
Seat 1: SnickerSnack showed [6c Kc] and lost with two pair, Kings and Sixes
Seat 2: skip1640 didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: strohsix didn't bet (folded)
Seat 4: Leinad W didn't bet (folded)
Seat 5: CHEEKS (button) didn't bet (folded)
Seat 6: auutone (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 8: orourket5 (big blind) showed [3c 5d] and won (2,865) with a flush, King high
Seat 9: Paul_the_Lion folded on the Turn


Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I finally recieved the "apology" letter from Sam's Town.

Full text is below.

Dear Tommy,

I have recieved a number of comments regarding the structure of our World Series of Poker satellite tournament that you recently played in. Unfortunately, the comments were mostly negative. I am sorry if your experience at the tournament was not as pleasant or as enjoyable as you have become accustomed to. I would like to take a moment to not only apologize but also to assure you, as well as all of our guests, that the Sam's Town Poker Room maintains the highest regard for our customers' experience as well as their opinions.

Toward that end, I am commiting to all of you, and to anyone else who considers playing in our future qualifiers, that prior to the first kickoff event, the format and structures of the finals will be included in the rules. I understand that this does not help with the recently concluded tournament, however we are committed to making every reasonable effort toward regaining the confidence and trust of all those who expressed displeasure with that format.

As a further expression of our regret and a future desire to express our appreciation for you, please accept our offer for a free entry into one of our $45.00 buy-in evening tournaments. Bring this letter to register for any one of these events through August 31, 2006.

In closing, we appreciate your business and would like to demonstrate our sincerity. Please feel free to contact me at (702) 454-8092, Tuesday through Saturday if you would like to comment or discuss this further.

Dick Gatewood
Poker Room Manager
Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall

I used the letter (and my own $20 for the rebuy that is really an add-on) last weekend, and took down 1st, but I'm still not happy with their new blind structures. After talking about it with the tournament director, he agreed to consider my position, and actually ran the tournaments on Sunday evening with the old structure. I chopped for two (there were only 10 of us, so not that impressive) in the one I played in that night, and made quite a bit at the 4/8 tables in between, so it was a pretty good weekend.

Tomorrow night I'm going to head out to the Rio to watch the ME final table, assuming I can get in.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Selfloathing and Stud

Stud Tournaments are not for sane people, but it's what I was in the mood for when I woke up last friday, and made for the start to a great weekend.

As FeliciaLee recently wrote, "Stud is a bad tourney game... The five betting rounds are killer... If the structure is fair, long, with a lot of chips, it turns into a race for endurance. If the structure is short with no chips, it turns into a card catching contest. There is no good way to run a Stud tournament. It sucks no matter which way you look at it."

I pretty much agree, yet I'll probably play in another one soon.

I've been playing Hold'em for almost two years now, and only for the last year with any seriousness, but I have been playing stud since I was 6 years old, and recently (as any poker player I've talked to in the last 2 months knows) have been gravitating back towards it. I think this may be because I burned myself out when I played in at least one Hold'em tournament every night during the month of April. Since then, I haven't played any Hold'em cash games whatsoever, preferring to spend that time playing stud, and saving Hold'em for when I can invest enough time to play in tournaments.

But Friday morning, I just felt different. I had a lot of time to waste, wanted to play in a tournament (I much prefer chasing the big payday to grinding), but wasn't in the mood for Hold'em. Since I suck at Omaha (something I will eventually get around to fixing), the choice was clear.

I was playing very well, and was actually holding the chip lead through the entire tournament, right up until the bubble, where things suddenly went very bad. Somehow I ended up on the 4 player table (vs. the 5 player table... 8 spots would be paid) with the three short stacks, and even though I was the overall chiplead, combined the four of us had only 1/3 of the chips in play. And then I went card dead.

I was chipped all the way down to the short stack when I began to throw a fit. I was ranting to my poor roomate about how fucked up Party (and most other sites) are about their "table breaking algorithms" (something I could, and one day will, write an entire post on), and how I was getting fucked by poor structure rather than bad play. I was fairly certain I was about to bubble out, and looking back, I am ashamed at how bad I let myself tilt.

And that's when it happened. I got lucky. Crazy lucky.

Although I had not been rolled the entire tournament, with T3200 left, at 3000/6000 stakes with 500 antes, I hit my first rolled hand, filled it with all four players still in the hand, and managed to slightly more than triple up.

Only two hands later it happened again, and I simultaneously busted out the new short stack while slightly more than doubling up. I was now third shortest stack, at the final table, and was determined to calm myself down, play smart, and win this thing.

I am still amazed at how bad half the players at the final table were, but there were at least 2 players that I knew were good (Major and Gtx), that I recognized as regulars from cash games. Arrogant as it may sound, I also knew that I could outplay them. I waited for cards, and watched player after player bust out.

When there were only 3 left, I knew I had won. One player was short, and all but guaranteed to go out on the next hand with a little implicit collusion, and the other player was positively horrible. Despite his 3 to 1 chip lead on me, I had not a doubt in my mind that I could take him headsup.

And obviously, I did.

It was not the biggest win I had all weekend (I had a great run of cards last weekend, taking down two live Hold'em tournaments, and cashing in two other live Hold'em tournaments, making for a fantastic weekend), but it was by far the most satisfying.