Writings from Truckin'


Poker Blogs

Friday, February 20, 2004

Countdown... 2 more days until...

The day of reckoning is almost upon us. Who will win the inaugural poker blog tourney on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. ET?

There's still time to enter; in fact, you can register as late as one minute before the tourney begins. But be sure to first sign up by emailing me your info and I'll send you the password.

And if you want to watch, just download the software and sign up with an account (you'll need an account to observe a table). Our tournament can be found under the multi-table tab.

Our mystery guest is the gentleman who originated the term Hammer and the inspiration for The Hammer Challenges. Once upon a time, he played 72o and won with it in a Northern Virginia home game. His name is Hammer, and ever since then 72o was dubbed The Hammer. Therefore, there's a bounty on him! If you knock The Hammer out of the tournament with The Hammer, you'll get $250 -- the full amount of one of The Hammer Challenges.

Last-minute word is he may not be able to attend after all. I'll keep you posted.


I rushed home last night to make it in time for the 2+2 tourney at PokerStars. When I booted my computer, the monitor display was all wavy lines and repetition. I have a 17" monitor and knew from past experience that it couldn't go past 1024 resolution. Well, I knew it could but the left edge of the screen would be cut off, even if I adjusted the right position button.

The previous night I'd decided to try again. I bumped it up to 1280 (the max on this monitor) and the left edge was still cut off. I played a few tables, moving them away from that left edge, the machine crashed, and I didn't turn it on again until just before 9 p.m. last night.

And then horrors! When I booted the machine and it went to Windows, all I could see was wavy lines and multiple images. I remained patient hearing the ever-louder ticking clock, and somehow I managed to blindly maneuver the mouse to the Control Panel and downgraded the resolution back to the happy 1024 -- all in time for the 2+2 tourney.

No more resolution experiments!

Eleventh place and up cashed, and I fared a respectable 16th out of 62 of the tightest tables and best players you'll ever find (at least until our own Grublog Poker Classic). As soon as someone was knocked out, someone would pipe up with "that guy won $20K in Connecticut" or somesuch. Made me feel a tad better outlasting these experts, many of whom used different aliases on Stars than on 2+2.

I did get lucky early on -- I raised with AK. I'm called with A6. The flop is A6o. I bet, and A6 raises all-in. I think and think, enlisting the 60-second time clock. Then decide, what the heck, and call. Lucky me gets a K on the turn, and I double up. My luck didn't hold out -- whenever I tried to steal the blinds (even from an early position), I was reraised.

Watched an extremely bad call from someone who busted out before I did. He had 88 and stayed till the river. The guy betting into him had A8. The flop had an Ace. Which meant the 88 guy could only win with a one-outer. And of course, that 8 comes on the river. Gotta love it.

Every time I play on PokerStars, I contact a friend and we play together. I was out early in a multi when an ultra-aggressive guy was raising and taking down every pot. This time I go all-in with 88 (risky, yes). He types in chat, "Hmm... to call?" and calls. Unlucky me, he had AA -- probably the one time he had a hand and I had to go heads-up. However, I'd much rather go out early than on the bubble.

We then played an 18-person 20+2 tourney. He went out on his table. I made it to the top 4, only to go all-in on a button bluff (3 6 if you must know). KJo who had been folding the whole time, calls me. A 6 flops and I'm hoping... but then a Jack rivers and I'm out. Happy to cash $36, but a whole lotta time (almost 90 minutes) for a whole lotta nothing.

I then played a $10+.50 heads-up tourney with my friend and won. After a good 20-minute battle, I had AQo, he had 69s. The flop has a Jack high. I bet, he goes all-in. I pause and then call. I knew he was bluffing!

I do feel my heads-up play is getting better. Play long enough, and you get a feel for how the other person plays. Unfortunately, with the SnGs (those would be the games I haven't been doing very well in lately) when you get heads-up it's only for a few hands. There isn't normally a prolonged heads-up session with time enough to be able to adjust to their play.

Found out he's now mostly playing on Party (smart man) and has been cleaning up under a girl's name. He does the limit games on Party and tournaments on Stars. Probably a good way to go, as Stars has the best run tourneys around. You do get better players, though, so pick your poison.

Dragged another friend into setting up a Stars account (made attractive by these heads-up tourneys). We played three -- I won two and he won one.

My overall for last night after playing 5 hours: $-6. Not bad if you're seeking an evening's entertainment.


Another grubette post (two in a row!) from Monday:

So our goal was win/lose 100. I left my ATM in the car. I contemplated the NL table, where I saw that 21-year-old college boy grinding it out.. not his boisterous self this time, so I suppose he was losing. The table wasn't all that animated so I stepped back and put my name on the very short list of $3/6 because the list for $4/8 was far too long.

I hate playing $3/6, so after waiting for 5 minutes I figured I may as well play my usual game and tried to add my name to the board for $4/8. There were at least 15 people on the board, the next being "NG". The board caller looked at me and said, "NG, you're seat is available." I said I wasn't NG, but he gave me a quick wink and told me to get my locked up seat. Guess he wanted a tip. I only had a hundred, sorry.

I get to the very somber table, and everyone is asian, which is a bad sign (because these guys do this for a living). I was at 1s, and 2s raised every pre-flop. Normally you like these kinds of players, but not with my limited funds. Plus, he was making me annoyed. I finally got AT diamonds after 5-6 hands of not playing anything and called the blind. 2s raised me per usual and everyone called. The flop had an Ace, but I just checked because I knew 2s would raise. He bet, I called. Nothing on the turn or river, but he kept betting. It was head's up at the river, where he bet, and I called with my wimpy Aces. And he just folded! Didn't even want to see what I had. He said he was trying to burn through his chips because they were unlucky. I told the dealer I was out, gave her $2 and stacked my $37 and left. The table groaned, but I didn't want to play with maniacs. And this was the best way to ensure he didn't get his money back from me at least.

I did end up going to $3/6, hoping for a friendlier crowd. The crowd was very friendly and a couple of old guys, who I like to play with. I won the first two hands and now needed about $40 more to reach my goal. I started getting nervous though because when I win, I start to get ultra conservative. Doug happened to be playing at the table next to me, and I saw he was up a rack so I went over to check on him. Would you believe, he was up $99? He said he needed to win $1 before we could go. Oh come on! I was ready to go whenever he said the word. Being up a little is better than being down a little (or a lot). He went down, way down, then back up, and finally left the full table at +131. The table was so irritated, it broke up about 10 minutes later. Of course, I was down by then, having lost my winnings and $20 of my own. So he'd just have to wait til I won it back.

Second Corona, and losing $, I start to play loosely now, which I know is my downfall. There was only one guy calling everything, raising everything, with 23o or T6o. But he was lucky. So I get KQ diamonds right after the BB. I just call, but it's re-raised and I call that. The flop is QT2, no diamonds. Check to me, and I bet. I'm raised, I re-raise. Turn's a 6. Round of betting. C'mon Queen! River's a 7. I bet, am raised, I call. One guy has pocket Ks, okay, but the winner, has T7o and wins with 2 pair. I get up from the table, not even wanting to give the rest of my money to these guys, net -71.

I blame Doug, because I was ready to go when he had +99 and I had +57.

Howard was there too, leaving work early to play because his wife worked til midnight. Doug called him but he had already been there and left within an hour, after winning $53. His goal was +50. At least we were only there an hour and a half, Doug bought me dinner, and we made it home in time for "The Littlest Groom" which is oddly difficult to watch.

Should've played NL.


Wendy's mandarin chicken salad

3 Diet Cokes
cabernet sauvignon

dinner (this was my steak dinner won from a bet a couple months ago. I chose The Palm, which I thought was upscale but seemed like a low-rent steakhouse with caricatures of local (and living) DC political figures on the walls and coatcheck girl picking her nose. The steak was excellent, though)
French bread
raisin bread
lobster bisque
garlic mashed potatoes
18 oz. filet mignon (medium rare)

grub: 8
poker: -107
WSOP/hours: -31/9


Wendy's spinach chicken salad (new!)
Chips Ahoy cookies
chocolate coconut cake and chocolate-covered strawberries

4 Diet Cokes
orange juice

Healthy Choice blackened chicken

grub: 7
poker: -6
WSOP/hours: -37/14


egg drop soup
chicken with mixed vegetables
fortune cookie: You will have no problems in your home... just your monitor

2 Diet Cokes


grub: ...
poker: ...
WSOP/hours: ...