Sunday, November 30, 2003

The odds balanced, the earth flattened, and out of eight 30+3 and five 50+5 tourneys, I only placed in two -- third place in each.

Piss poor by any standards.

What happened? I felt like I was still playing well. The only x factor was that I was IMing my friend again throughout. I should stop that when I'm playing seriously.

But that's blaming external forces and not looking at myself. Closer examination shows a few bubble finishes yet also two 10th and two 9th. It's better to be 10th than 4th, agreed, but I'm no Doyle Brunson and I thought I played a good game in those losing tourneys as well.

Will keep pressing on.

A small diversion, however...

Dove into 5/10 6max again (will I ever learn) and after lots of ups and downs, came out even.

There always seems to be one person at the table who plays every hand, calls to the river, hits everything, and sets the table on tilt. He'll win $500 in a matter of minutes. He then eventually loses all his money and leaves. The secret to being a good fish is to suck out on people and THEN leave.

I might have to set a win limit for myself, because while I didn't suck out on people (at least not intentionally), I didn't leave once I won twice my buy-in.

And yes, in poker win and stop loss limits are irrelevant. You just play on and keep earning your BB per hour.

But psychologically and mental healthily, it would be good to always leave with a win.

Now I'm off to work to play the 2+2 TYVM heads-up tourney at TGC. Never played a HU tourney before but I feel I'm okay at heads-up in general.

I have to go into work because my lousy home computer with Windows 95 doesn't like the software. In fact, the work computers are Windows NT and run into the same problem. There's one lone machine that has Windows 2000 and I have to make sure no one's on it so I can use it.

TGC has these terrific nightly freerolls as well as a 7K tourney with a fantastic overlay (they actually lose money every time they run the 7K), and if the software worked I'd play every night.

Now I have to cue the Mission Impossible music and covertly sneak into work when no one's looking, then constantly check my back because the computer faces the wall and is in an open room, so anyone can walk by and shutter at my horrible addiction.

Will also play in the Intertops freeroll and maybe even the Empire $25K tourney if the overlay looks good.


Of 53 people in the heads-up tourney, I came in 10th. My last hurrah was K8 vs. K4. Flop nothing... turn nothing... looking good! Then came the dreaded 4 and I was out.

Top 8 placed. I knocked out one person and started a new table with T20,000. Unfortunately, I was randomly matched against the next available person, who had T60,000. Eventually worked my way to being even with him, then dropped pretty fast as the blinds increased.

Very fun! Don't know of a place holding regular HU tourneys, but I'll definitely try the next one... particularly if it's free.


Played in three simultaneous multis on Empire, Intertops, and TGC. Placed 155/487, 17/168, and 16/238 respectively. Only Empire was NL, and the overlay was terrific -- they added $13,000 to the prize pool.

The Intertops final hand was particularly painful -- I had AA, someone raised, I reraised. Flop has two spades. River gives a spade. You can guess what he had -- A6 spades.

Empire was also painful -- AA again. I reraised all-in. AKo called me. Four clubs on the board. His King was clubs.

I was mostly just blinded out at TGC, so no complaints there.

I should perhaps learn in the final stages not to go all-in with AA as it's not a fail-safe. Lesser hands will call perhaps thinking you're trying to steal, and lesser hands will sometimes win.

TGC and Intertops cashed a combined $110, and factoring in the fees and the NL sidegame loss I played beforehand, I came out about even before starting the multis. In other words, I could've stayed home and napped and be the same off financially.

Exhilarating, to say the least. And now it's just past midnight and I'm headed home.

Creepy being at work late at night!


Wendy's chicken strips
biggie fries

3 Diet Cokes
2 Diet Coke with lemon

forgot in the heat of multi fever
a Snickers bar
Fiddle Faddle

food: 10
other: 19 (gas)
poker: -379
Saturday, November 29, 2003
A fool and his money are soon... playing on Party Poker!

Slept much between sessions today. Decided against AC, but also decided against continuing to play through the evening. Instead provided moral support to a friend playing in a NL multi and PL SnG.

Played nine 30+3 and two 50+5 -- all NL. I don't notice any difference in play between 30 and 50 but that additional $22 is enough to make me shy away from playing more of them. I do notice I don't do as well in the 50s, so maybe there is some psychological difference (perhaps I don't play as aggressively).

I'm worried my limit game is suffering. Particularly after that 5/10 fiasco. A tourney would be a good place to practice, especially when it gets shorthanded. So I played one 30+3 limit and thankfully came in second.

Limit tourneys seem much more of a crapshoot toward the later rounds. It's like NL in a way because blinds are so much that they'll take you all-in. But I don't think there's as much skill involved as there is in NL. You can't take people off a hand with top pair low kicker like you might be able to in NL.

The other thing is people will fold for dear life just to get to third place. I'm not one of those people and I'll exploit those shortstacks (and even the chip leader who wants to stay that way). But it does cost me a bunch of 4th place finishes.

Of the 12 SnGs today, I cashed in 8 (which included three 1sts). Still happy about the greater than 50 percent average.

One thing I need to work on is playing simultaneously. I don't think it hurts my game, but it seems I'll lose one and place in another. Rarely do I place in both.

I may just cash out at Paradise, bonus be damned.


Stouffer's cheese ravioli

3 Diet Cokes
1 Diet Coke with lemon (The Borgata puts real limes in theirs)
orange juice

Pop Secret kettle popcorn
can of corn
(fridge is empty)

A brief early-morning nap (which should've been late-evening sleep) and dreams were plentiful. Dreams about Vegas and using two cell phones but forgetting one and driving a golf cart on the I-15 and having a good feeling playing 5-7 diamonds and living in small apartment with a doorway leading into a travel agency (with a poster acting as the door).

Woke up feeling refreshed and feeling fine. Something tells me I'm into something good. Or however that lyric goes. I'll have to check with the muzak with lyrics in the elevator.

food: 0
other: 313 (iRiver 395T!)
poker: 410

Friday, November 28, 2003
Black Friday

Two days into turkey vacation and days are already blending together. Where am I? Who am I? Why does the muzak in my building's elevator now contain words? How long have I been playing today?

A long time.

Fortunately it was cold and rainy with a thunderstorm warning and even snow predicted. So I didn't feel guilty that I should be out and about enjoying the nice weather.

I started back on Paradise with a poor 5th and 8th place in two 30+3 SnGs. Have I mentioned I don't like Paradise? Came out even on the ring games I was also playing. Tough players o'er there in them Paradise hills. Didn't bode well. I'm now down $250 on Paradise because of bonus chasing. What I'll eventually do to break up the monotony is some whoring on the casino side. Many of the online sites have similar deposit bonuses with a good +EV. Of course, online casinos are bad news. I got into a lot of trouble a few years ago playing them when credit card companies didn't know enough to reject transactions. With basic strategy and low bets, though... (ah, the temptation!).

Certainly has to be better than how Paradise and Party have treated me recently.

I have a friend I usually IM when playing. We both watch each other's games and comment on people's play. Because I generally play two tables at once, I found I might be losing concentration on the makeup of the table. Particularly in these NL games, when it's more about playing people and their stacks.

So I disconnected IM before logging on and tiptoed back into Party.

And proceeded to go on a tear!

I played a whopping eleven 30+3, six 50+5, and one 24+2 (which was the qualifier for a Super Sunday tourney -- only first place won; I got second place which was 25). Of those 18 tourneys I placed in 12. Entry into the tourneys totaled $719, and I made $1185 for a profit of $466.

I'm pleased with the results, I very much felt in the zone being able to read players. And each tourney enabled me to start anew, with a new image. I need to learn that if I have a losing image in a ring game I need to leave the table immediately. I tend to stay at a table too long trying to get back to even.

If I can do well tomorrow I'll definitely head to AC for a few hours.


Wendy's Wild Mountain chicken
biggie fries
medium frosty

4 Diet Cokes
1 Diet Coke with lemon (growing to like this and it no longer tastes like metal but a sour aluminum)

Wendy's mandarin chicken salad

Some crazy shoppers today, lining up in the blustery cold and rain for a 6 a.m. store opening. I was up most of the night/morning and caught the local news. The deals did look pretty enticing, though. A VCR/DVD combo for $79? WHATTABAHGIN.

I have a bone to pick with Best Buy. Well, McDonald's primarily. When McD's was holding their Monopoly promo, I faithfully drove thru every day for those game pieces with ridiculously bad odds. And two weeks before the promo ended, the stores began to run out of pieces, so I was left with a regular large fry container and a regular large drink cup a couple times (I'll give you odds that McD's employees were embezzling game pieces). Wendy's is my fast food restaurant of choice, but I will go to McDonald's whenever the Monopoly promo is on.

So this time around, with every game piece came a $1 coupon from Best Buy. Printed on it was a code of numbers and letters, and you could collect as many as your heart attack desired to cash in at the store or online.

Best Buy is having a sale on the iRiver 395T, which is the 512 meg version of their ultracool MP3 player. I got the new 256 meg the day it was released and love it to death. The one thing I could use is more space. There're rumors of a 1 gig coming out, but who knows when. The Best Buy flier advertised a rebate of $100 off the 395T, putting it down to what I paid for mine -- $200. Fantastic deal.

For a good two hours I was lost in eBates (to get 1 percent back) and Best Buy's websites, with various errors and inputting those McD $1-off coupons. Checked and double-checked, and all I got was invalid number. This happened for all of them except one.

My time is certainly more valuable than entering long series of invalid codes (perhaps the embezzling employees again?). Tomorrow I'll go back online and snag that iRiver.

food: 11
poker: 400
Thursday, November 27, 2003
Happy white meat day

Decided to switch to Paradise which was offering a bonus of 10 percent up to $100 for this Thanksgiving weekend. Neteller only had $900, so I had to withdraw $100 from Party to make it an even grand. Party's transfer was extremely fast -- less than half an hour. And on a holiday, no less. (But do they celebrate Thanksgiving in India?) Cheers to Party! Almost makes up for the bad taste in my mouth from last night's trainwreck of a session.

This is a poor bonus. It doesn't attract many fish who are only looking to deposit $100 or $200 to try their "luck." An extra $10 or $20 won't matter. Paradise's last bonus was 100 percent up to $100, which was much better.

Add to that it takes forever and a day to play through the bonus: 1000 raked hands. Party tends to be 5x the bonus, or 500 raked hands. (However, Party's recent weird bonus states not only 7x raked hands but it's only for people registering in the Friday night $100 tourney.)

I'm always hesitant to go to Paradise. Contrary to what others say, I don't care for their interface. I actually prefer the big cartoony graphics at Party. Paradise is just too small for grubby's tired eyes. The players are also much, much better at all levels.

I have always lost at Paradise. They were the first site I played a couple years ago, before I knew how to play hold'em. Heck, before I even knew how to play stud. Unlike stud, I hunkered down and studied hold'em.

Neteller allows only $600 per day, so in went $600 for the $60 bonus, and off I went preparing to work off 600 raked hands.

I jumped into a 30+3 SnG (which doesn't count toward the bonus) and won that for a $150 win.

Confidence renewed, I fired up 3/6 (shorthanded) and $100 NL (full ring) tables. Also tried a .5/1 table. Lost on all three, enough to offset my tourney win and further damage my bankroll.

Tomorrow will be a full day of tourneys. Enough of these ring games.


Stouffer's chicken parmesan

4 Diet Cokes

shrimp (bucking the turkey trend)
Stouffer's chicken and rice

Saw 21 Grams with a friend tonight. I always like to catch a movie on a holiday. She was completely in tears by the end. I was unaffected. I appreciated, but didn't emote. The hard life of grubby is more than any ol' celluloid screen. Unless you count A Little Princess (not the Shirley Temple one), in which grubby's eyes were wet two separate times amongst a theater full of mothers and offspring.

I loved Amores Perros, but this one didn't capture my heart as much. Very good movie, excellent acting, and well worth seeing, though.

food: 0
other: 11 (matinee movie tickets)
poker: -222
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Bad day for grubby

The tables were not kind. 5/10 shorthanded again. I like the stress and the action and the stress and the action. The first half-hour I was up $120 and decided to lock in the win and leave. That's a rarity and I didn't want to have the opposite happen, as I usually lose first then win.

But a brief break later, I was lured back and played two tables. Rebought $250 twice on one table because one guy was constantly winning on the river. He would then say "kaboooom" every time he won. It was mostly drawing out on the river. He played any hand to the turn. Then played any hand to the river if he had a draw or Ace high. He never raised preflop. If checked to, he always bet out. You want these people in your game, but it can be a killer when they hit or when they actually have a hand on the flop. He started with $150 and was quickly up to $850. He tilted the whole table.

I hold vendettas. It's my weakness. I write up notes on that person and follow them around. I'll stay at the table until he's broke, even if I'm on the verge of being broke myself. I lost $400 at that table and as he started losing, I began building it up... and then he left. Smart.

Including that win at the beginning, I'm now down $380. I could end now, wallow in the loss, get some sleep... or I could push through.

I hop onto two other tables and don't do so well. Premium hands not holding up. I know to just raise and pound the pot because in the long run you'll win on those cards. But when AA loses to 78o when a 7 flops (a King was also on the flop with three callers) and a 7 rivers, you know the poker gods have it in for you.

It begins to look like a losing night overall. After five hours my ISP automatically disconnects, so I clicked off auto-post and left and disconnected on my own. Free will and all that.

Thank my ISP for quitting before inflicting further damage, or else I would've stuck around and lost more (or perhaps recovered a bit).

$576 down. (Still more if you factor in the $120 from the distant memory that was the start of the session.)

That's a huge hit. I don't think I was tilting per se (I did play marginal hands, though I would toss them on the flop if I didn't hit), but I know people were taking shots at me because of my losing image.

There will be ups and downs. Especially in this favorite game of mine. Swings are a part of it. How you react after a loss is part of what determines how good a player you are.

I want to take a break. I want to run and hide. But I can't.

I cancelled my reservation at The Borgata, which I'd done before I sat down to play tonight. I had decided before that if I won enough to pay for AC expenses (basically bus and food), I would still go for the six hours.

Now I'm not so sure.


chips & salsa
3 chocolate chip cookies
7 handfuls of Fiddle Faddle

three Diet Cokes
one Diet Coke with lemon (a seemingly neverending supply)

Wendy's mandarin chicken salad
medium frostee

The shrimp was more than enough. Enough to have some leftovers still in the plastic that I brought home. Left it and the cocktail sauce in the car, cold enough now to double as a fridge.

A friend cancelled on me tonight. I had free tickets, she had called last night and I mentioned the play and she confirmed. But today she left a voice mail two hours before curtain. Disappointed, but she's in a constant turmoil with decisions about anything and I've learned to accept it. I ended up not going to the play -- wasn't particularly interested in it even for free -- and got home early and began my descent.

food: 7
poker: -576

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Onion breath

A couple weeks ago, I went a little bonus whoring. Deposited $500 for a $175 bonus after 875 raked hands. I ran it up another $200 then lost that, the $175 bonus, plus $71 for good measure. Damn bonuses. Not too happy about that. As soon as I reached my 875 hands I cashed out the remaining $429 last Wednesday. The cashout finally went through today. Not too timely. Nice how deposits are instant but withdrawals take their own sweet time. I won't be putting them on my favorite link list, that's fer sure.

On the way home, stopped by the supermarket and bought a boatload of shrimp for the office (also couldn't resist the 55 cent coupon dangling from the cocktail sauce if I purchased two). A bit more expensive than I'd thought, but hey I had all those free bagels.

I figured if I lost in my session tonight, I'd just keep it and eat it all myself.

And oh what a loss it was. The only bright spot was thinking of all the shrimp I was going to eat this weekend. Jumped right into the maniacal 5/10 shorthanded tables and began losing almost immediately. Down $20, then $50, then $100, then $400. If I lost my buy-in, my image was shot so I hopped to another and tried again. After three hours (and as per usual, thank goodness) I broke even and then some, enough to post a small win.

Yes, Virginia, there is shrimp for everyone tomorrow.

Wendy's Wild Mountain chicken sandwich (big because they piled on two tomatoes and a horde of red onions)
large fries (why is extra salt included but no ketchup?)
Welch's Fruit Snacks Mixed Fruit (made with REAL FRUIT and an excellent source of Vitamins A & E)

3 Diet Cokes (I asked for no ice!)

imitation crab and shrimp salad

Michael Jackson and his attorneys created a new website (he couldn't afford the .com) proclaiming he's innocent. Well, he doesn't exactly specify his innocence, he simply says, "It's a big lie. A big big big big lie. How big? This big. Liar liar pants on fire. I know what you are, but what am I?"

He's finally going to be put away for a long, long time, and this time money won't help him. He says sleeping with children is all playful, what's so wrong shacking up with a 45-year-old manboy as long as you're 12 years old or under, hairless, and have a penis?

We'll find out all the sordid details in January, and now that the laws have changed since the last public accusation 10 years ago, trust me, it will be sickening.

I did a little online Christmas shopping. I'd already gotten a couple things, but here 'tis the rapidly encroaching season and I have much more to go and miles to go before I shop. And miles to go before I shop. I swear after Halloween I was seeing the jingle-jangle jolly Christmas ads on the telly.

Last night I dreamt I went to a party with a change of shoes. Then I left the shoes there by accident. They were sneakers.

Over 600 people (three of whom who died from Hepatitis A) were infected by those nasty scallions at a Chi-Chi's in Pittsburgh. Son, don't eat the green onions.

I went with red. The only thing infected was my breath.

food: $57
other: $51 (Xmas gifts)
poker: 104
Monday, November 24, 2003
Tourneys 'R' Us

Some useless trivia: casinos' electric bills are $2-4M per year. The Luxor's big light is $51/hour ($20 of which is electricity). The bulbs are $1,200 each and last 2,000 hours. An average slot machine burns 154 watts.

Well I was all set for bed early last night when a 50+5 multi NL beckoned at 11p. It called my name: "Grubby, Gruuubbbbbyyyy!" I said, "What?" It said, "Come plaaaayy with me and win win win!" I had a long couple of naps so I knew I could stay up for awhile (5 hours minimum if I went the distance), but I needed to get up early.

I watched the registration countdown and kept saying to myself, I'll only sign up if it reaches 500. Two minutes to go and it passed 500. In fact, a total of 649 entered for 1-60 cashing with first place being $7,463.50. Oh wouldn't that be so nice?

So I registered and rebooted the computer so it wouldn't run into memory problems (old machine, surprised it still works).

Waited to play, resting my mouse hand a bit. I usually play a ring game simultaneously (trying to recover the registration fee) but I just concentrated on the tourney.

Ninety minutes later and I'm out.

Debbiedimmit. Went all-in with KJ and KJ on the board. Up against QQ. Turn 10, river 9. Runner runner straight and I got out at 305.

I was doing really well up to that point, had T3000. Can't believe chip leader called me with QQ when the K was showing, but he called just because he could. Maybe he thought I was bluffing. Still a bad move when he only had two outs (until the turn card that is). With my chips, he became chip leader for the whole tourney at T12000 and 6x the average. If he had moved all-in on QQ preflop, I never would have called. Curses to you, bad man.

I checked the results of the tourney (which lasted 5:26 hours) and he didn't cash. Aww, too bad. Not surprising though if he plays that way. Serves him right, ha!

I might take a break from the multis. I'm too dead money.


A wild and cuhrazy night. Hopped around a multitude of tables. Lost all three tourneys I played, and lost $23 in a 5/10 shorthanded, which I was actually thankful for (a big hand I lost was a set of 9s when the board brought four clubs. I did have the 9 clubs, but someone else had the 10 clubs). That much stress can't be good for a growing bankroll.

One tourney I made a critical error. Two errors. I raised a guy all-in, or so I thought. It left him with 45 chips, which he then raised with... and I folded! Not intentionally. He must've been thrilled. We'll never know how that hand went. I had AJ.

A couple hands later I did the same move but this time did take him all-in, and won that pot. But I ended in 4th. Who knows if I had won that pot early what would've happened.

Wanting a bit more excitement before bed (no not that kind), I played a 5/10 shorthanded and promised to leave after 10 minutes no matter what. Ten minutes later left up $34.


sugar doughnut
chocolate glazed doughnut

4 Diet Cokes

Papa John's pizza (ham/pineapple/mushroom) -- driver only gave back $5, a 35 percent self-made tip for himself! I wrote PJ to complain, they said they'd "forward the information on to the appropriate people for review and resolution," which means they'll be spitting on my pizza next time I order

mo' pizza
2 soft pretzels
Ruffles tater chips

Tossed and turned all night. Just not suited (sooooted) to going to bed at 1a and waking up at 9a. Kept waking up in the middle of the night. I'm much more adjusted to Vegas time.

Dreamt I was at the house I grew up in and came downstairs to eat Rice Krispies. Only one bowl available, which was on top of the Toaster Oven. It had some remnants of watered Rice Krispies stuck to the side. I just rinsed it out and used it. Then my baby sister came down and once I found out she had eaten Rice Krispies, I gave her a lecture about not washing the bowl. The one thing I noticed was she didn't apologize.

Then it switched to the whole family in a department store. Shopping for clothes, me not getting any. I'm late for school. My father goes to pay for the clothes my mother and sister picked out, and we walk off.

And then my alarm wakes me with the DJ calling in from Aruba, where it's 85 degrees.

Not sure what any of this means. Dreams sum up what's going on, what I'm feeling right now. Which means I must feel left out and isolated. And I need more Snap Krackle Pop in my life.

food: 15
poker: -89
Sunday, November 23, 2003
Tight is right

Played probably the toughest, tightest 30+3 SnG I've played yet. I got knocked out in 3rd after 52 minutes, a long stretch for these things. The SnG I won yesterday was a scant 35 minutes. I busted out when a guy raised with 77. I reraised all-in with AK (I was also shortest stacked). Flop gives a 7. To rub it in further, the turn is an A and the river is a K. There're also four hearts on board, and me with no heart. Thank you very much, poker gods. Very funny.

Still, I'm happy with the 3rd finish. $27 for an hour's work is fine by me.


Two more 30+3 SnGs, placed 5th and 7th. One I played a Granny Mae (Q5s) and ended up winning when my five paired against two who had AK. Don't people know not to mess with the power of the Granny Mae? Unfortunately, that was the one I placed 5th in (in which I placed 5th).

These two weren't as tight but boy were there some System plays when the blinds went up. And it was contagious -- once one person did it, others followed. After being chip leader and knocking two people out in the first couple levels, I quickly blinded off. I would play back if I didn't have to go all-in every time. The System is very effective bullying tactic. You don't play the cards (all-ins preflop, so you don't even see the cards), you play the chipstacks and people wanting to cash.

I then decided to do a 50+5 along with a 3/6. Playing these games is like mixing recipes. They each have a particular flavor and when combined can have some interesting results.

I placed 2nd in the tourney (KJ fell to 22) for a nice $150 win that made up for the losing tourneys.

The 3/6 didn't fare well by the time the tourney finished. I finished the orbit and was down $50 but won with Q8 when the Q paired on the flop and then made trips on the turn. One person betting the whole time had a busted straight draw. I considered raising on the river but didn't feel confident about my kicker.

I have autopost clicked off because I'm ending the session after one more hand, but wouldn't you know it -- UTG I get JJ. Well, I gotta raise, so I do. Four callers. Flop is 5AA rainbow. I bet out, two callers. Turn is K. I figure I'm beat at this point so I check. One check, one bet. Now it's just me and the bettor. River is a beautiful J. I stupidly check, intending to check-raise. He doesn't take the bait and it checks through. Hand history revealed he had 10 10. Stupid me.

So down $50 and then won $80 with those two final hands. I like it when that happens.

Yesterday's mail brought $15 in slot dollars at The Borgata, but it's only for Dec. 5 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Then there's a $5K drawing ($2,500 and five $500) at 10 p.m.

Any incentive is a good incentive. This isn't one of them.

I had already booked a free room at The Borgata for next Sunday, Nov. 30 with the plan of taking the bus up Saturday night, playing till check-in (which is an absurd 5 p.m., meaning I'd be playing for 17 hours straight), snoozing amidst The Borgata's 300-thread-count sheets, and returning Monday. My car Willy isn't what it used to be, so I don't trust the drive up. Renting a car is prohibitively expensive (not to mention the tolls). So as much as I loathe the bus, it's the only alternative.

Greyhound isn't that cheap, but there's a charter that's $32 roundtrip. The casinos give a cashback of $16, so you're only paying $8 each way. What a bargain. Unfortunately, you only get 6 hours of playing time, and if you happen to catch a cold deck, you have no chance of riding it out. Getting there's no problem, I'd just have to find a different way back.

Why would I put up with this hassle? I love The Borgata. The poker room is the best, most comfortable I've played in. Drink service is lightning fast. Comps are good (fifty cents to $2 per hour). People put down their poker snack bar, but I like it and that staff is the friendliest around.


Chinese chicken salad (I forgot how many green onions live in this thing, not my fave especially now that there's an outbreak of Hepatitis-A from the cursed buggers)

Diet Coke with lemon (all right, it's not my fault! they were all out of regular Diet Coke)
orange juice

a can of corn, right from the can
a roll of Mentos

Yep, not too substantial. But my fridge is empty and it's too late to have a real dinner and I don't feel like going out.

I was about to head out for lunch when I realized I'd picked up the salad yesterday for today. Completely forgot about it, good thing I had the forethought to prepare for my forgetfulness.

Watched Sex and Lucia between tourneys and I got all hot and bothered. Those Europeans know how to make a mainstream good-looking sex flick. Started watching the behind-the-scenes documentary, and promptly fell asleep on the couch with happy dreams of sex on the beach.

food: 0 (all above from supermarket and cupboards)
other: 17 (registered
poker: 86
Saturday, November 22, 2003
You say edamame, I say beans, let's call the whole thing off

In the zone today. Not much sleep last night (I wonder why), so attempted to nap. But it's an Indian Summer day -- warm and sunny, and I tossed & turned and popped up to play one 30+3 SnG.

If ever I was in a zone, it was this tourney. Within the first orbit I knocked two people out (insanity at the early stages -- play tight and you're almost assured of being in the final five). Then I crippled one other person with T345 left (he was drawing to a flush with J6, I had KJ, flop had a J). Then when the river came a Queen (no flush) and he checked, I was a Nancy girl and checked back. This is my big leak, not value betting the river. It seems when I do, I'm check-raised. And when I don't, my hand is good. I'm running scared.

I had T2800 chips and it wasn't even level 2 yet. I didn't need to steal, I just sat back and let others bump each other off while putting opportune bets in at the right times to retain my lead. Tried not to get cocky, as early chip leader doesn't necessarily win (particularly in multis). Put someone all-in preflop with AK spades, he had JQo -- turn was Q (with two spades onboard), river was a K. Couldn't have worked more perfectly.

Down to two, I see J9o. I raise this, the guy calls. Flop has two Jacks. I bet, he calls. Turn made a flush draw out there. I bet half of the guy's chips, he raised not quite double to make him all-in. He could possibly have been slowplaying a bigger Jack, but I put him on the flush draw or a big Ace or a pocket pair. I go ahead and put him all-in.

My trip Jacks were good, he had pocket AA. Ouch. He still said "gg" at the end, that was nice.

Stats on this tourney, which I don't usually have or care about since I tend to play two at the same time or a tourney and a ring game. But here they are in all its purity:

Hands played: 42
Hands won: 23%
Showdowns won: 87%
Flops seen: 33%
Win% if flops seen: 57%

Now if these stats could only hold up in my ring games, I'd move to Vegas right now.

I then flopped around again trying to nap, but it didn't work.

Got up, showered, and headed to Craig's for poker night with friends I now go to Vegas with every March. We started it last year and decided to make it a tradition. We hadn't played poker since February! Way too long.

One friend was sick, and another was in LA covering the Michael Jackson fiasco (oh come on, we all knew it was a matter of time, didn't we?). Anyone want to bet me that Michael will kill himself before January?

Craig got a $12 craps set -- the stick and felt mostly. I brought clay chips (only 11.5g will do now!) and dice. We played craps awhile before a couple more people arrived. I volunteered to be the house, because the house always wins. We then switched to blackjack, where I was again the house, because the house always wins.

Had a fun time. Gave me more dealer experience. In Vegas I'll more than likely look for a dealer job if I can't find anything else. I'm doubting my current skills, since the demand isn't great now that people aren't as interested in published material that doesn't include the Internet. Blackjack seems well suited for me. I have just as much fun watching others play and dealing as I do playing with my own money. Just as long as I don't flub up in chip counts and shuffling the deck, I think I'll be all right.

When a couple more people arrived, that made five, so we played some hold'em. We explained the rules and played a few sample hands with hole cards up. When shorthanded, Atlantic City and Vegas sometimes will do just one blind, so that's what I did. The game was .05/.10.

Another friend who'd moved to San Francisco called and we took turns chatting. While I was talking with him (he had just gotten knocked out of his first PokerStars freeroll tourney -- he flopped two pair with A10; unfortunately, someone else flopped a broadway), Craig made a royal flush! I sat down on the hand right when the river card came. He had KQ spades, the flop gave him TJ spades. And he got his A spades on the river. Stellar hand. The other guy who was in the pot was also drawing for a flush with A7 diamonds but was smart enough to fold.

Amazing. If we were at Monte Carlo or Mandalay, he'd have gotten the jackpot bonus. Instead, he got a warm fuzzy feeling and maybe 35 cents.

Craig didn't realize until afterwards that he got a royal. He knew he had a flush, just not how big. I rubbed it in a little and told him he won't see one of those for awhile, that his odds have to turn now because they'll balance out. They always do.

Next hand flops 8 9 10 clubs. Turn is Ace. River is 8. Craig bets the whole way. I peek at Franco's cards and he has A8, for the boat. I don't know what Craig has, but when Franco bet on the turn, Craig raised. Franco just called. He also just called on the river, even though I tried to prompt him to raise. But could Craig have gotten another straight flush so soon? When the river 8 came, Craig said, "Ah, now that's the card I was looking for." That worried Franco, so he called.

Craig flips over 7c3s, drawing the whole way for two outs of the 6 or J clubs. Because he would have had to get a straight flush. I made a show of saying, "Craig has... nothing. And Franco has... a full house."

That made me laugh for a bit.

Poker was relatively short, maybe an hour. Then we played one kitchen game of 7-27, which I lost. And then we chatted about our March trip to Vegas, and I got home alongside the other walk-of-shamers at 3:30 a.m.

All in all, good times, good friends, good food. We need to do it again soon.

Even with including the beer and pizza, I ended up $5.

Because the house always wins.


spiced shrimp sushi

Coke (frozen -- very slushy and delicious, it was like liquid crack)
Diet Coke
orange juice
two beers

Papa John's pizza (my fave ham, pineapple, mushroom; mushroom, green peppers, tomatoes)

Encouraged by my larger-than-usual win last night, I treated myself to a nice lunch at the supermarket. Then sat in front of the telly munching on sushi and edamame (s? do you pluralize it?) watching Truly, Madly, Deeply. I saw it in the theaters twice, I liked it so much. Still do. Even endured going to the one theater that was showing it -- a porn theater. No Pee Wees in attendance, but during the middle of it several scary men in trenchcoats sat behind me. They watched a few minutes and then got up, apparently because there weren't any cable guys or metermaids in the flick. With a title like Truly, Madly, Deeply, I guess it could've been misinterpreted. At least they didn't "mess up" my sweater like a guy did to a friend on the NYC subway. "What kind of bleach are you using now, dear?"

The DVD has a commentary by Anthony Minghella, which I also listened to sporadically. So glad that catapulted him into The English Patient a scant few years later. I'll be first in line for Cold Mountain. I'm a big fan of his all around, starting with his plays. Then going into Jim Henson's "The Storyteller." Then Truly. All are worth checking out. His writing touches something in me that only a few do, and I realized rewatching Truly after, what, 12 years?, how much it influenced my writing.

food: $37 (groceries including beer for poker night) + $10 pizza from poker night = $47
poker: $117 + $21 from poker night = $138

Friday, November 21, 2003
And on the first day...

As what's rapidly becoming par for the course, I lose big at the beginning of a session and then win it back to come out even or a bit ahead. Thank goodness for the winning-it-back part. Maybe my opponents see me lose my entire buy-in and rub their hands gleefully when they see me buy in again -- we looked around the table and saw the sucker! -- only to play a little looser with me. A mistake, really, because that's when I'm playing tighter.

Sometimes when I first sit down, I'll play loose preflop and then try to make it up postflop. If I happen to win and show my trash cards, all the better. Hopefully I'll also get bad comments to direct more attention to me. Of course, then I'm playing better but if all works out more people will be calling me down.

It's a strategy that I do purely by accident.

5/10, 6-max tables are insane. Was down $300 but persevered to post a $+23 profit.

That was satisfying enough to go to bed. Woke up to stomach cramps (see my alarming bagel intake for today). After sitting on the bowl moaning for a bit, fired up the 'puter and played some more. Wish the bathroom was large enough that I could cart in the computer.

A $30+3 NL sit-n-go and a backfired slowplay. This lesson serves to remind me to go all-in when you have the goods:

Five people remain. Blinds are 50/100. I'm SB and shortest stack (T610) and have to make a move soon. Seat8 (T1325) calls. I look down and see Q6o. I figure I'll play this for another T25, which I do. BB is chip leader (T3435) who checks. Flop is Q67 (two hearts). Sweet. I bet T50 (this was my first mistake, especially considering there's a flush draw out there). BB and Seat8 call. Turn is a 6 (no heart). Couldn't be happier. I'm now hoping that the river is a heart so I can get some action and reel them in. I wait a bit as if I don't like that card, and then check (mistake #2). BB checks. UTG bets T75. Yes! I quickly call (mistake #3) and so does chip leader. River is a 9. My trap is set, I'll bet a small amount, BB will call, and then Seat8 will raise, then I'll go all-in and either get those chips or force Seat8 to make a decision. So I bet T90. But BB raises to T300. What happened? Now Seat8 folds, breaking my dastardly plan of getting more money in the pot. I know I'm still golden here. Perhaps he has trips, 69 maybe. Or even a boat at 67. That'd make sense. Either way, I have him and I raise all-in my remaining T45. T1395 in the pot. BB calls.

I'm getting ready to rack up my chips, when the awful Party screen comes up saying I came in 5th. I say awful because a) losing is always awful, b) it obscures the results so you can wallow in your loss like I'm doing now, and c) I expected fireworks to go off dammit! Turns out BB had pocket 99 for a rivered boat higher than mine. I never suspected that. Because I was shortstacked, I suspect he would've called me had I gone all-in on the turn anyway. But I don't think he would've called had I gone all-in on the flop or the turn. The three mistakes above would've given me the pot had I gone all-in at any of those times. A tough lesson, but a good one for 5th place (and heck, at least it wasn't 4th... too many of those to mention).

A multitable $20+2 placed 145/214

Two more $30+3 with a 1st ($150) and a 2nd ($90)

One $10+1 with a 5th. All-in on K8o, called by chip leader with 78o. Flop gives an 8, river gives a 7 and I'm outta there.


lunch (thanks to the moldy leftovers at work, all free as Michael Jackson on a $3M bond):
half turkey sandwich
one plain bagel (much cream cheese this time)
one unknown bagel (smothered with cream cheese to obscure funky taste)
two jalapeno bagels (cream cheese rocks!)
one pesto (?) bagel (cream cheese ran out)
half chocolate chip muffin
gobs o' tater chips

three Diet Cokes
one Diet Coke with artificial built-in lemon so you don't have to

McDonald's California Cobb Salad with Mr. Newman's haggy looking face on the Cobb dressing
small fries
small fruit & yogurt parfait (but they were out of small, so a large for ONE BUCK, baby!)

I have a theory about McDonald's. It's in their employee manual to pour extra fries into your bag so when you finish your carton you look all dejected and sad but WAIT look at the bottom of the bag and there're two more cold fries suitable for consuming! File this under a piece of heaven, similar to thinking you ate all the M&Ms but missed one.

This McDonald's has the big arches with the sign: "Over 99 BILLION SOLD." Trouble in paradise: the sign only has room for two digits. Think of the cost to replace all the signs once that 100 billionth fat kid in Sally Struthers' household munches on a McNugget.

food: $7
other: $35 (parking ticket, which I swear I hadn't been out there over 2 hours, officer)
poker: $271

Thursday, November 20, 2003
Why oh why?

I love playing poker.
I love eating.

Hey, why not combine the two? (There's a third love in there, but this is a family blog! Go wash your eyes out with soap.)

I have a modest job that pays rent and bills with barely anything left over.

Poker will henceforth subsidize my food intake. If I don't win, I don't eat. And that makes Grubby grumpy.

You should know that this will be quite the feat, because I am a LOSING poker player. That's right, how many people with poker blogs can lay claim to that? Why would they want to?

I started keeping track of my play in March 2003. Since then at over 1500 hours of play, I have an average win rate of negative $-3.69. Yes, that's Negative with a capital N. That figure is 92.37 percent accurate (+/- $5), which is high enough for me to wake up from da Nile and realize that I'm at best a break-even player. And at worst, I'm PAYING for the privilege of losing. And you should've seen how much I lost before March '03 when I didn't know what I was doing!

So that's where all my snack money's been going.

Feh. No more. Time to turn it all around beginning now. This blog won't make me eat better, but it'll make me play better. No more tilting.

I'm hoping to move to Vegas next year to try this fantasy life for real, so in addition I will list all my other daily expenses and provide a running tally at the end of each week along with poker earnings (of which I hope there will be some). I was planning on starting this in January for tax purposes, so consider now to the end of the year a trial run.

So join me and my ridiculously bad poker plays and ridiculously bad diet.

A blog of bad beats and bad beets.

Somebody stop me now!


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