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Archive for September, 2006

Happy Birthday Shane!!!

A big birthday wish for my son Shane who at exactly 6:40pm EST will be two full years old!  Man I’m lucky!

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Ok first, start siting of the day – Kathryn Morris (CBS’ Cold Case) – Starbucks reading a script.  I don’t even watch the show, but when someone’s sitting there reading a script… Moving on. 

Everyone’s seen the ads for all the online poker sites.  And everyone that plays any online, probably have their favorite, likely because they’ve tried 2-3 and they’ve built up loyalty through points this and free ‘stuff’ that trust me…is not free when you consider the rake etc.  I’m out to perform a little experiment that I hope to 1) profit from, 2) learn from, 3) to have fun with.

I started playing PartyPoker about four years ago.  I recall watching the WPT and seeing a commercial for the worlds largest poker school.  Wow!  And they were going to give me $20 for depositing $100.  What a great deal!  I recall dumping around $1,900 over two years…a hundred here $200 there.  Fortunately, I clobbered the site for nearly $4,000 earlier this year, cashed out half – (my initial ‘investment’) and proceeded to donate the rest back.  But I never tried any other sites.  Why?  Dunno…seemed like a hassle.  But these new deposit matches seemingly make it more enticing.  100%, 120% sign-up bonuses?  Am sure they want you there for the long haul, but if you’re not, then you won’t have enough qualified hands to get your bonus anyway.  Plus the site makes a 5% rake on every hand. 

So here’s my ‘experiment’.  Find a new site every 4-6 weeks and play low limits $3/6, $5/10 and play in my ‘down time’….when I’m recruiting, watching TV.  I’ll play to earn the match, see how that works out.  Maybe I’ll end up with some merchandise as seemingly every site wants you to wear their shiz-nit – free advertising.

The other thing will be to sign up with a Rake-Back program.  I’ve signed up with Rake Brain (and here is a link if you want to sign up (click here) which they’ll give you a percentage of your rake back (thus the name).  I’ll review both rake brain and the sites as I go along….  You’ll still be eligible for any matching offers like sign up codes, etc.

First up – Full Tilt Pokerwww.fulltiltpoker.com.  With a sign up bonus matching 100% of your deposit up to $600.00, it sure does sound enticing doesn’t it?  Will let you know.

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Well, gave it a third go-around playing in the final NL$300+$30 event that Commerce this week.  I fared much better busting out around 70th place (out of 450+), but still not very happy with the results.  I played a few too many marginal hands trying to ‘make something happen’, but I don’t mind going out as I did.  Blinds up to 200-400 (50 ante) and I have about 2,300 left in chips.  I pick up A-K offsuit in middle position, folded to me and I push.  At worst I’m a coin-flip and cannot just call this hand, in my opinion.  The button goes in the tank for 90 seconds and finally goes all in (he has slightly more chips than I and is in a similar boat).  The SB (and chip leader) with about 8,000 in chips thinks and finally calls with 7,7.  The button has AK off!!!!!  No A or K came and the SB hits a flush with his spaded 7 and weirdly enough neither the button or I had a spade.  Done.  I won’t be playing in the championship $2,500 event.  Will take a month off from tourney play and concentrate on my cash game and build the bankroll up hopefully a little more before taking another crack next month at the Bike.

Cash Game Interesting Journey –

So I get to the Commerce at 4pm and play for an hour and 10 minutes and lose $600!  I donkeyed off $200, rebought and doubled back up and then some to about $475 in my stack.  Then came the first of two consecutive hands that killed me.  I raise after 3 limpers are in to $15 with 4,5o one before the button.  Button calls and five see the flop – 3,6,8 rainbow.  Perfect!  Three checks, I check, button bets $30 into the $75 pot, UTG calls, I call two others folded – three to the turn a TWO, my money card as I have the nuts!  UTG now bets out $40 into the $165 pot, I raise to $150 – figuring that’d get rid of the button if he had an overpair of 9’s, 10’s or even a small set.  No – he reraises me to $300.  UTG folds, I have $280 left in front of me and so I push it in, he calls and we have over a $1,000 pot.  He turns over his set of dueces, so I’m a 4.2-1 favorite until the board pairs on the river!  I asked him what he thought I had?  He said he thought I was bluffing.  No way he thought I was – he just fell in love with his set when he hit it on the turn.  Bottom set!  Unbelieveable.

Very next hand (after I buy back in for $200), I drop the whole amount when my KK gets dropped by AA.  Ok…break time!

After I bust out of the tourney, I go play cash games til 5am (on a school night – woops), but some interesting hands ensue.

I have work my stack up and down but am playing about even for 3 hours after tourney.  Our table is breaking up as we only have four players but I encourage all to play still as they’re loose players and I figured I can simply out play them.  I do for $150 more in 3-4 hands but a ‘fun’ hand comes up.  I have J,10 (clubs) with position and a flop of Q,10,9 comes.  UTG bets $30, a call, then I call – so already about $130 in the pot, then the K comes.  First guy bets $50, next guy insta-calls, and I figure each for a jack only for the straight.  I push my remaining $350 all in figuring if I can get one of them to fold…  Both are now petrified of my having A,J or a J with two clubs (two clubs on board).  Both actually call and we chop up the pot when a red card comes on the river.  I yucked it up with them afterwards and had a good laugh with them.

I move tables and 1st hand I sit down at what would turn out to be a phenominal table.  I pick up 4,4 and call the $15 pre-flop raise.  Flop – 4,3,2 – two diamonds.  I check and player on my left bets $30, one caller and I push my $350 stack.  Player on my left insta-calls and turns over 5,6 – woops!  I get lucky and double up as quickly as I got killed earlier in the evening when a 2 hits the river.  At least I had two shots at hitting my boat which I would think made me a 2.1 dog rather than 4.2:1 (right)?

An hour later I pick up A,6 and seven players limp in to a board of A,7,6.  I lead out with $25 not wanting to slow play.  Two callers then the button raises it to $100.  Ru-roh (a set of sevens I’m thinking).  I call and surprisingly the two guys after me call (there are two spades on the board).  Now I’m rooting for the Ace of spades and even under my breath tell the guy next to me – c’mon ace of spades – Bingo!  Money card.  Checked around to the button who pushes for $170.  I call, praying the other two would have hit their flushes, but unfortunately both folded.  Sure enough he had 7’s full of aces, which lost to my Aces full of sixes.  Nice pot.  So from being down the $330 buy in plus another $800 in cash game, I cashed out ‘only’ down $200 for the night in total.  Whew!

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Spending 5-6 hours in a plane with a two-year old isn’t fun.  Granted we have the best lil 2-year old in the world, but even he has his limitations.  He ‘lost it’ outbound to NY with about 45 minutes to go and it wasn’t until he got to the rental car did he crack a smile.  But that being said, our return home was great as he slept for 90 minutes and was the perfect angel. 

Seeing the family is always nice although you remember why you live so far away with the little nit-picky things.  But all in all, Shane’s party went off without a hitch and I think everyone had fun.  Tough on the body – the cross country travel, but I think I’ll recover.

Since being out here – I’ve seen several ‘celebrities’ and as an added feature on the blog, I’m going to list my monthly celeb sitings.  Cedric the Entertainer was on our flight yesterday and it’s always interesting seeing – what I call – B list celebrities out in public.  They wear their sunglasses so as not to get noticed, yet, they start looking around thinking ‘why is no one noticing me’.  Fairly entertaining in and of itself.

Other celebrity sitings since moving out here to catch up in the last seven months – Julian McMahon (NipTuck) and his ‘ok’ looking ex-wife Brooke Burns; actor James Woods – at Commerce Casino, Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie) on my flight to Vegas to play in WSOP event, Donna Osmond – more C list celebrity eh on one of my flights to Vegas – he was on his way to Utah – the mormon, and of course Jose Canseco, major leaguer turned steroid tattletale turned Surreal Lifer, who victimized me by getting lucky and hitting two home runs off me.

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Traveling back to NY

Headed back to NY so we can celebrate Shane’s birthday with his extended family.  This will be Shane’s first flight in his own seat which has both positive and negative.  Positive for the room…negative as this is the first time we’ve had to pay for his flight.

But it’ll be great Shane around his cousins and family for his birthday.  Missing baseball playoffs here but won’t be the first time, ahem….I think the last time that happened something good happened.

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So Tuesday didn’t work out so well…well neither did Thursday.  Only starting with $1,500 in chips is tough.  I tried to limp in with ‘ok’ starting hands in order to acquire chips, but nothing seem to hit.  Down to 775 with the blinds in round two at 25-50 and my starting to feel short-stacked, I picked up QQ UTG and raised it to 150.  Two callers.  Flop is great, 5,3,2, with two clubs.  I go all in, happy to pick up the 500 pot.  The guy first to act after me goes into the tank and he must have thought I just had AK.  He calls my all in, the other guy mucks (what he later said was 77) and my opponent turns over 10,5 of spades?  Let’s just say no 5 or 10 came.  Anyway, never really got any cards after that but lasted through round six (100-200, 25).  Barbara Enright the only women to make it to the final table of the WSOP was two to my left, so there was my ‘celebrity siting’ at this tourney.  Fortunately the cash game went much better.

Second hand in I pick up A7 on the button.  Flop top two pair and some bozo bets just $10, one caller and I make it $45.  He goes all in (I presume he thought I was on a flush draw).  But to my surprise, he was virtually drawing dead with his A3?  The big hand of the night was the hand that was ‘almost’.  I have about $800 in front of me, and J9 of clubs in my hand (pre-flop raised by UTG to just $20).  Three of us to the flop, K,6,2 all CLUBS.  Woo-hoo.  UTG goes all in for $125, I re-raise to knock out any A (clubs) or two pairs, etc., to $250.  Other guy calls for his remaining $180?  Unless he had A (clubs), I’m not sure I’d call what he did…but he did….pocket 2’s….UTG had KK for a set of kings.  So I’m in GREAT shape until the 6 of diamonds hits the river.  I figured that was a $700 card.  That sucked.

But ‘down to’ $600 I wound up cashing out for $1130.  So it was still a good night.  I’m now only down $150 from Tuesday/Thursday including both tourney buy-ins.  Not bad.

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Well, I played in Event #1 which was a NL$300+30.  There were 670 entrants for a total prize pool of nearly $200,000 with $60,000 to first.  They were to pay the top 36 which seemed reasonable.  I busted out around the 300 person mark which was about mid-way through the field and about mid round five (75-150 round).  You start with 1500 in chips.  I had doubled up early when my KQ hit trips against a another that hit trip queens (his kicker was a 2).  I had about 3800 midway through round two but got upended and lost 1/2 my stack when my top two pair fell to a flopped flush.  Was down to about 1100 right before the 75/150 round.  But wound up stealing some blinds and used the ‘all in’ play to steal some more til I had 2500.  But then the chip leader (with about 4500 at our table) limps in and the SB folds, and me in the BB I have A2 suited.  I put him on nada and go ‘all in’ figuring I can steal the 375 in the pot.  He insta-calls and I know I’m insta-screwed.  Turns over wired 10’s.  I somewhat question his play (as I do mine) as at worst I have one over and possibly two.  But flopped a flush draw which never got there nor did the aces, so I was gone.  I win that hand, and I’m sitting pretty at around 5000.  Oh well.  Donkeyed off about $300 in the cash game with some ‘not good’ play.  Need to go back to basics.

Thursday is the next NL$300 and I’m planning on playing that one.  We’ll see how this one goes.

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