Monday, March 29, 2004
Laurel and Party

Three cheers to Felicia for hosting the first of her weekly PJK tourneys last night. And congrats to Genius of the Poker for taking home the prize.

Trying to get home in time, I ran a red light (one of those turn signals at a three-way intersection with no traffic for miles) and made it just in time to have AK go down to tpfelt's QQ and get me booted. For some reason my connection and Planet's don't agree, and I was constantly getting disconnected, despite still being connected to Yahoo Messenger and other poker sites.

I knew things weren't going right when I had AA early. I wasn't even able to call, as Planet folded me for timing out.

Jumping into 3/6 on Planet, I played several orbits and was also treated to the disconnect message at inopportune times.

As fondly as it reminds me of my old Atari 2600, Planet is about as archaic and I don't think I'll be able to play there any more without pulling more of my hair out.


Today is customer support correspondence day!

Starting off, we have not one, not two, but three sets of email exchanges with various poker sites.

First up are deposit reload bonuses.

I look forward to these with a mixture of excitement and dread.

Excitement because the $50 or $75 or $100 acts as a rake rebate (that we should be getting anyway when on a house account, ahem) for playing 10 raked hands per each released bonus dollar. If you're already playing at the site, you might as well take advantage of the free money. These bonuses are also a terrific way to build up the low-limit bankroll. Or they can help cushion your fall from bad beats.

Dread because, well, customer support at the poker sites ain't all it's cracked up to be and you could very well spend more time going back and forth in email than it would take for you to win the equivalent of the bonus at 3/6.

But much like I enjoy putting players on tilt, I also enjoy speaking with poker site customer service.

Whenever UltimateBet runs into server problems, they seem to offer a new reload bonus of 20 percent, up to $100. I did so, played some, and everything was fine until I exited the tables and found my UltimatePoints weren't credited. A quick email to UB and everything was fixed. No complaints there. (A hint: if it's still not working and you're vague about how many hands you've played, they may release your entire bonus amount. I specified an amount and they released just that amount.)

Empire is offering a free $50 for a deposit of $300 using the code SPECIAL300. I found out about it when logging in and seeing their forced display message about it. I deposited and no bonus. Dashed off an email to Empire's support (which is the same as Party's support, so you know how pleasant that can be) and they responded that I wasn't eligible for the offer. I then provided the screenshot and all was hunkydory.

Now we get to MultiPoker. Multi is a skin of Party, similar to Empire. They emailed with a 20 percent bonus, up to $75, using the code NOMOREFEES. My Neteller account depleted, I wanted to use IGM-Pay. But first I thought I'd check to see if the IGMPAY first-time deposit bonus code (20 percent up to $100) was working for them as it was for Party/Empire.

Hi MultiPoker --

Are you running the 20% deposit bonus (up to $100) for first-time
IGM-Pay deposits using the code IGMPAY?


Dear grubby,

Thank you for contacting our Customer Care team.

With reference to your mail, we would like to inform you that you were right in saying that
we have the feature of 20% bonus on purchase up to a maximum of $100 on the first
deposit using iGM Pay.

grubby, if you have any further questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact
our Customer Care Department at any time. We are here 24/7 to assist you via email.

Thank you for choosing us as your online gaming site!

Poker Customer Care

Hi Lakshmi --

I just did the below (registered IGM, deposited $500 with the IGMPAY
bonus code) and the bonus doesn't show up.

Dear grubby,

Thank you for contacting our Customer Care team.

With regards to your reply, I apologize for the inconvenience caused.
I just checked with the concerned department and would like to inform
you that we do not have any bonus offers as of now for using the iGM Pay.

However, you would be informed regarding the new bonuses and promotions
through e-mails.

I appreciate your patience in advance with regards to the

grubby, if you have any further questions or suggestions, please do
not hesitate to contact our Customer Care Department at any time. We are
here 24/7 to assist you via email.

Thank you for choosing us as your online gaming site!

Poker Customer Care

I'm sorry to hear that, Lakshmi. In that event, could you make the
bonus code "NOMOREFEES" and credit my bonus account with $75?


Dear grubby,

I really apologize for the inconvenience caused, but right now, I would
not be able to give you any bonus.

However, please let me make it clear that we do have many promotions
coming up in future, and you will be informed about these through

Hope you enjoy playing on our site. A real money account with us will
enable you to use a host of other exciting features that our site has to
offer to real money players.

grubby, if you still have any questions or suggestions, please do not
hesitate to contact our Customer Care Department at any time. We are
here 24/7 to assist you via email.

Thank you for choosing us as your online gaming site!

Poker Customer Care

Lakshmi, I'm afraid in that case I will have to withdraw the $500 I'd
deposited. I only made the deposit because of the IGMPAY (20% up to $100)
and NOMOREFEES bonuses (20% up to $75) that I understood you were offering
until April 14.

I feel you've performed a bait-and-switch on me, telling me the IGMPAY
promotion was available so that I would deposit. Then you tell me it
isn't, and meanwhile I've already deposited.

And then you tell me the NOMOREFEES bonus is also unavailable.

You say you have many promotions coming up in the future. These are two
offers that are available in the present. When I get promotions in the
future, how can I believe that you won't again say they're no longer

I was looking forward to playing again on MultiPoker. But since you're
honoring neither of these deposit bonuses, I'll have to go somewhere else
like Empire Poker and make MultiPoker a poker site of the past.


p.s. I'm aware of the advantages of a real money account, but thanks for
pointing it out to me in your email.

Dear grubby,

Thank you for contacting our Customer Care team.

With regards to your mail, I would like to inform you that I have gone ahead
and issued you a bonus. This is because I have seen your association with
our site and the interest you show towards playing at our site.

Please note that your bonus has been added to your account, but it is not yet
available for you to use.

You will be able to use this bonus amount,once you have completed five times
the amount of the bonus in raked hands.

Since you have received a bonus in the amount of $75, just play 375 raked
hands before 27-APR-2004 18:57, and your bonus will be available to use.
You can always check the status of your bonus and how many raked hands you
have played, just by clicking on the "Cashier" option on our Lobby, and then
clicking on "Bonus Account".

Hope you enjoy playing on our tables! All the best.

grubby, if you have any further questions or suggestions, please do not
hesitate to contact our Customer Care Department at any time. We are here
24/7 to assist you via email.

Thank you for choosing us as your online gaming site!

Poker Customer Care

Anyone want to take odds on whether I cashout a winner at MultiPoker? I'm not saying they can flip a switch to cold-deck you or set up action cards, but you never know.

Checking my history with them, I've yet to make any money at Multi, and their site is the same as Party.


Ah, but at least I know my money is safe at MultiPoker.

Next in our series of email exchanges, we have the sorry news about ChoicePoker. I'd been hearing rumors about their money problems from the various poker forums but didn't want to post anything just yet, in case they were able to work their way through it. With this long a delay in withdrawals, Choice has irreparably damaged their reputation and I don't see them in business for very much longer. Judging from the minimal action at their site (one or two tables that were never full, and none higher than 3/6), it's inconceivable to me that they don't have the funds to pay their customers... what little customers they had to begin with. What did they do with the money?

Hello, I made a withdrawal on 3/14 and have not received it yet.

Dear grubby,

I apologize if you were not informed previously, but unfortunately
at the moment we are suffering a daily in payouts because of an unexpected
daily in a transfer of funds. We would like to deeply apologize for this
situation and any inconvenience that it may cause you. As soon as we receive
the delayed funds are available we will credit your account let you know
that the payout is completed. Thank you in advance for your kind

Again, our apologies,


Zach, I don't understand why a transfer of funds would take 14 days
for a measly $10. Where is the transfer coming from?

I haven't played at Choice for 14 days because I haven't received my
cashout. I suspect the rake I would have generated within those 14
days would have covered my withdrawal.

When do you expect the transfer to go through? And would I also get
interest on the $10?


Hi grubby,

As you can imagine, this is a very difficult situation for players and
employees alike. I was recently informed that the money will most likely
be available in the next 7-10 days. I assure you that we will complete your
payout and inform you of the matter as soon as we are able to do so.


Zach --

Are you saying that employees also haven't been paid for the past 14 days
and won't be paid for the next 7-10 days?

You said "most likely" but not "definitely." I'd prefer not to get a
runaround. If there's the likelihood of not receiving the cashout at all,
I would appreciate the candor.

Was player money not set aside in a separate account and instead used for
other purposes?


Hi grubby,

I´m sorry that my answers only seem to leave you with more questions. Yes,
you should receive your payout in the next 7-10 days. Otherwise, I don´t
know what more to say than what I already have.


I won't hold my breath 7-10 days hence. Rest in Peace, Choice.


And finally, to conclude our triptych into the world of poker site customer service, we have PartyPoker.

On Friday and Saturday I played several tournaments on Party.

In one 300+25 multi, blinds are 25/50, I'm UTG with AQo, and I open with a T250 raise. Two callers.

The flop is Axx (rainbow). I'm first to bet, but I can't bet because the buttons for bet/fold/raise have vanished.

The timer counts down and I can do nothing but watch. In chat I type, "My buttons have disappeared." The timer zeroes out and my one disconnect protection goes into effect.

Next guy bets T400, chips I would never see. He had AJo. I did get the main pot, but it could've been bigger.

Disappearing buttons on Party has happened to me twice before. Some say you need to turn off the hardware acceleration, but this has happened on my old machine without hardware acceleration. Others say you have to reinstall your Party software.

I forwarded the hand history to Party. I was prepared for both of the above "solutions." Writing to them is akin to writing to a 6-year-old. You talk in circles and come out of it with a headache and me peanut butter stuck to your head.

I'd rather suffer a bad beat on the river than deal with PartyPoker support.

Here's my hopeless correspondence...

Dear PartyPoker:

Please look into this hand. I was also playing other tables on Party at
the same time, and I did not disconnect there. So it wasn't my

What happened was my buttons disappeared. I even mentioned it in chat.

It was my turn to bet and I wasn't able to bet!! The system timed me out,
used one of my disconnect protections, and put me all-in.

This is a serious bug that has happened to me before in a similar
instance, and I'm not happy about it.


Dear grubby,

Thank you for contacting our Customer Care team.

The PartyPoker lobby and the tables, live game or tournament are located on
different servers. Hence, the connection to the lobby and to any of the tables is
a separate connection altogether. The connection to each table is a separate
connection. A players connection to the tables is established through several
intermediate servers. A problem in any one of them will cause the player to get
disconnected from the table. A player can get disconnected from a table and still
be playing at another table and be connected to the lobby. Whenever a player is
disconnected from a table, he has to logout of PartyPoker, login, highlight the
table he is on in the lobby and click on "join table".

If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact our
Customer Care Department at any time. We are here 24/7 to assist you via email.

Thank you for choosing us as your online gaming site!

Poker Customer Care


I was never disconnected from the table, but my disconnect protection came
into effect because I didn't act when it was my turn.

I didn't act when it was my turn because my bet/fold/raise buttons

The buttons disappearing has happened before. Surely I'm not the only one
this has happened to.


I thought again, and shot off another email:

Further, I would appreciate very much if your auto-responses to emails
weren't turned on scanning for keywords and responding in kind.

More often than not they are incorrect and only gloss the surface of what
I'm trying to point out as a serious bug in PartyPoker's software.

Thank you,

Dear grubby,

Thank you for contacting our Customer Care team.

grubby Disconnect Protection enabled.
grubby could not respond in time. (disconnected)

This is a section of the hand history you have sent us. In case you were
connected to the table and did not act on your turn, the hand history would show "did
not respond in time" and not "could not respond in time" as appears in the hand
history. You were disconnected from the table. Also, when a player does not act
in a hand, he is folded. You were given the disconnect protection as you were
really disconnected.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact our
Customer Care Department at any time. We are here 24/7 to assist you via email.

Thank you for choosing us as your online gaming site!

Poker Customer Care

Dear Kashyap,

I wasn't disconnected.

I was sitting there helplessly watching as it was my turn to bet and not
able to bet because I had no buttons to bet.

The timer counted down and the disconnect protection went on. I was back
in the very next hand.

However, the point of my intial email wasn't about being disconnected, it
was that my bet/raise/fold buttons disappeared which you still haven't

Have you received any other complaints about bet buttons disappearing?
And is Party doing anything to fix this bug?

But I do thank you for reading part of the email.

Dear grubby,

Thank you for contacting our Customer Care team.

Here there are two possible senarios:
1. The betting options appeared and then dissapeared before you could select
your betting option.
2. The betting options never appeared.

Each has a distinct solution. We request you to confirm which of the above
happened so that we may assist you with the correct resolution.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact our
Customer Care Department at any time. We are here 24/7 to assist you via email.

Thank you for choosing us as your online gaming site!

Poker Customer Care

The betting options never appeared.

Dear grubby,

Thank you for contacting our Customer Care team.

In your case, the betting options never appeared because you had been
disconnected from the table. Hence you were given disconnect protection by our system.

It is possible that the betting options are not shown while a player is still
connected to the table. In this case, it is a graphics issue and the hardware
acceleration of the system is adjusted to resolve the problem.

We would like to inform you that in your case, you were disconnected from the
table due to which no betting options were displayed and hence no adjustments to
your system are required.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact our
Customer Care Department at any time. We are here 24/7 to assist you via email.

Thank you for choosing us as your online gaming site!

Poker Customer Care

Sigh... why do I even bother?

This concludes our foray into poker site customer support. But wait! There's a bonus.

Last week I posted the chat from some Party players in a qualifier who were encouraging others to stall so they could collectively win seats to a larger multi. The top 16 people would win, and it was down to two tables. This screams to me as collusion, and I emailed Party about it.

They responded, disagreeing with my definition of collusion:
Dear grubby,

Thank you for contacting PartyPoker Customer Care.

With reference to your e-mail we completely understand your concern regarding
players that intentionally stall in tournaments and do it to get "in the money".

This is an area that we are currently working on improving. There are a few
things that we can do to minimize the stalling:

1) Reduce the time to act,
2) Go hand for hand further from the money at more opportune times, 3) Reduce
the time to act even further and install a "time bank" where players use their
time more effectively. All of these things we
are currently working on.

With that said, even after we implement as many things as possible to help curb
it, there will always be an amount of time that is given to each player to act.
Each player is allowed to take the time that they feel they need. We understand
that it can be frustrating when players elect to use their time each hand, but
it is something that is afforded each player and they can rightfully use that

Taking extra time is not colluding, it is a strategy that some players feel
benefits them, when in fact it actually hurts the same players that are
doing it. All players have the same opportunities when it comes to take
extra time.

I understand that this is not the answer that you are looking for, but you must
realize the position that we are in. We can ask players to speed up their play
(and we do), but our hands are tied when it comes to punishing any player for
doing something that they are entitled to do.

However, please note that we have added comments in the Notes Section of the
players' accounts and any repeat in such table talk, which influences the outcome
of the game, could result in permanent removal of the table chat privilege or
even closure of accounts.

We thank you profusely for bringing this to our notice and appreciate your
concern about the integrity of the site and the safety at our tables.

If you have any further questions, comments or concerns, please contact us at and we will be more than glad to assist you.

Best regards,

Andrew Hill
Investigations Team
It's distressing that Party believes getting everyone at the table to stall (or fold to the blinds to keep everyone together in a perverted camaraderie -- this is poker, people) is not collusion but "a strategy."

Is it also a strategy to (ab)use one of your disconnect privileges at a pivotal moment, to not risk all your chips and stay in the game but still possibly win the hand?

The time each person has to make a decision wasn't a concern of mine; this stalling always happens anyway when nearing the bubble. But it was the chat from certain people trying to get others at the table to follow suit that is in my mind colluding.

PokerStars has recently updated their multis so you can't chat while involved in a hand. Certainly a step in the right direction.

McDonald's Egg McMuffin
McDonald's hash browns
McDonald's fruit'n'yogurt parfait

3 Diet Cokes with lemon
2 Cokes

Cobb salad

grub: ...
poker: ...
Friday, March 26, 2004
grubette's home game

What would be a week without a grubette post? Here's grubette from last weekend...

Not being a winner of the 1st Grublog, I didn’t have enough clay chips to play for my weekend’s poker party home game. What a brilliant idea though, you can “rent” chips for free from your local neighborhood card room (“renting” here refers to getting a rack or two of the casino’s clay chips, carrying them into the bathroom with an oversized purse and dumping them in at the same time a toilet flushes to muffle the sound). Hey I paid for them. I hid the racks behind the toilet and sauntered out, no one the wiser. When I got home I considered washing the chips but then they would be much too nice (and counterfeiting could be suspected) to turn back in.

While I was gathering these chips, which was my main purpose in going, I also joined the Fri night tourney and played a little $4/8 beforehand. The tournament sold out a full hour beforehand so it was a cool $8k or so 1st place. Everything was uneventful, except I did get a marriage proposal from a three-time HI-G Friday Night Tourney winner. I also sat with another guy that said he just arrived home after 3 months in Costa Rica and his wife informed him she wanted a divorce. He had just won a $700 tableshare on a jackpot and when they asked his home address for their records, he sadly didn’t know what to say because his wife was kicking him out. He was about 70 years old and said he would miss their 3-year-old baby the most. That reminded me of a joke:

60-year-olds husband and wife were hanging out on their porch one day when they were greeted by a magic fairy. The fairy said, “I’ll grant you each one wish. What would you like, wife?”

The wife immediately replies, “A million dollars.”

And poof! A million dollars appears in front of her.

Fairy turns to the man, “And what would you like, husband?”

The husband immediately responds, “I would like to be married to someone 30 years younger.”

And poof! He turns into a 90-year-old.

I busted out of the tournament so early I didn’t even know what place I was in. Then I played a regular $3/6 game because everything else was full. That also was uneventful except the very last hand. I had A8 and stayed in despite multiple raises. Flop is A-4-5, lots of chips thrown in the middle. Turn is a 7. I’m hanging in there with top pair. And the river is an unbelievable 6. I just check and hello so does everyone else. One guy motions to “send it” and flips up his 3 for the low straight (after everyone but me had turned up their cards). I disappoint him greatly and said I the higher straight and raked in $100+. Right before my blind, so I got up and left.

Outside I met a guy that said he used to go to Vegas when he was a teenager. He said he was 17 when he went for the first time, played and made a few dollars on the slots. Then he boldly moved up to craps, where he won $2200. After nervously cashing in with the cashier oblivious to his age, he went directly home and to the local car lot, where he bought a brand new Chevy. The whole time he was telling it he had a wistful smile on his face, recalling how his youth was so marked by a day of playing dice.

That would’ve made a terrific blog.

The next day was our party where I had it catered by nothing-but-the-best, El Pollo Loco. This is much like Taco Bell, but without a dog mascot. Doug had set up the entire garage as a poker room: green felt table with drinkholders and chipholders, neon artwork on the walls, dim mood lighting (courtesy of the light from the garage door opener) and a pear-scented candle (that was to mask the smell of petrol). He even laid down carpet under the poker table so people could spill drinks on it just like inside!

The party was a hit, as any would be when you ply your friends with free food and drinks. But instead of black beans we got pinto beans. No one enjoys pinto beans!

Poker was a hit too where I ended up winning a whopping $35 and Doug won $40. Excellent. Better than I normally do at HI-G, probably because we were mostly taking advantage of playing with first-timers. Blinds were 50 cent/$1, and the bets were a $1 the flop through the river.

The next day, we went to El Pollo Loco and told them about the bean mix up. The manager apologized and I demanded another tray of black beans that served 25. She said she’d have it ready in an hour. Then Doug interjected, saying, “Party’s over. Can we get a refund instead?” And she reached into her drawer and gave us $20. As we were leaving, Doug said, “What would you do with a huge tray of black beans anyway?” Beats me.

We also went to the Lakers vs. Bucks that night at the Staples Center. True to LA form, $8 peanuts, $10 beers.. popcorn, hotdogs.. and sushi. I was scanning the floor seats for stars.. there was Jack Nicholson of course, regulars Penny Marshall and Dyan Cannon, John McEnroe, Pierce Brosnan, Urkel (from "Family Matters" — hey who cares?), Denzel Washington and Sylvester Stallone. At the end of the game, which the Lakers squeaked out a win in overtime, I yelled, “Rocky!” out in the stands while Sly was leaving, signing autographs. There were so many good-looking, cosmetically enhanced people there. One particular front-row beauty had a tight pink shirt with lots of filling. She was so voluptuous, my friends and I tried to determine if she was surgically modified or if it really mattered. Then the Lakers girls came out with all black outfits (one of their many costume changes) and the white lettering “” on their chests. I felt this advertising was in no way beer or sport related and therefore inappropriate. My friend remarked that tight-pink-shirt girl should have “” on her chest instead.. hahaha.

Hmm.. now I have to go return those chips I “rented.” Maybe this week..

blueberry bagel with cream cheese
1/2 cranberry bagel with cream cheese
bean sprout & cucumber cream cheese 1/2 sandwich
ham & salami 1/2 sandwich
cucumber & hot pepper & provolone cheese 1/2 sandwich
potato chips
2 chocolate chip cookies
baked Doritos

4 Cokes


grub: ...
poker: -150
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
What goes on in grub, stays in grub

Not much happened on my last Vegas trip, at least not enough to fill a Hunter S. Thompson laundry list, but I thought I'd mention my last day there because it segues nicely into tourney play.

Warning: contains not enough graphic depictions of gambling and strippers.

It was late Sunday, March 7. Most of the group had left earlier that night, and F and R remained (they had a 7:30 a.m. flight out on Monday). Had Excalibur booked for Sunday and Monday night, despite leaving late Monday on the redeye. This is better and more convenient than haggling for a late checkout and waking up early only to turn right around and check bags at the bellhop. With an extra night, I can come and go to the hotel room, wake up whenever, use the clean bathroom, and shower right before heading to the airport. A last day in Vegas shouldn't be a hectic one.

We chat, recap, and gossip ("that relationship is doomed") about the events prior while watching some overacted movie on a nonpay station. We're all exhausted but can't dare sleep because this is Vegas! R has to work the next morning, so he takes the dare. F and I head to Hard Rock.

I drive my surprisingly roomy rented red Neon, the color of which wasn't as unique as many other rented red Neons also parked in the garages. Score one for valet. Plus you may get someone else's rented red Neon, you know, the one with the briefcase full of cash and the hooker in the trunk. I don't know which Neon would be better.

I've figured out Excalibur's layout by now, so I'd parked right by the Tower II entrance. Picking up the car is as fast as Barry Sanders. I take a back road and notice the car in front of me is going too slow, so I gun it and pass him on the left. Only it's not a passing lane, it's an oncoming traffic lane. I don't recall double yellow lines, Officer. I immediately swerve back into my lane before traffic approaches and just before the concrete median crumples the Neon to a Yugo.

That would've been annoying, dealing with an accident the last night there. Yet I'm so tired that even the near-miss doesn't wake me. F was a different story, as he was properly shaken up and stirred on his seatbelt.

We get to Hard Rock, instant Viagra for drowsiness. It's wallpapered with women wearing little but sugar daddies and johns. F heads to craps, I head to blackjack.

It's a $15 minimum, the lowest in the joint.

Dealer says, "You won't win." I look into her eyes and say, "I already have by meeting you, darlin'."

She destroys me anyway, and I'm down $100 and two Red Bull & Vodkas.

A rocker-dude is to my left, also down $100 or so. F and I planned to go to Club Paradise afterwards. Making small talk, I ask the r-d if he's ever been. Says, "I don't go to strip clubs. As a rule." Nice to meet you, too.

Dealer change. Young guy who deals ultrafast and has a habit of flipping the last dealer up-card like a Ricky Jay card trick. r-d comments, can't he deal the cards normally? Dealer says, "Get used to it," and continues. r-d leaves. I like this dealer.

Me and the dealer. I go into aggressive mode, doubling-down on 10 and 11, splitting most pairs but 10s against dealer's 4-6. In 20 minutes I win back what I lost plus over $100.

r-d was standing behind, sweating me the whole time. He sits and wants in.

I get an Ace and an 8. Dealer has a 6 showing. Normally I double-down. Play that the dealer will bust, not what you have. Here I don't. r-d has 17 and knuckles. Dealer turns up a 5 and with the next card deals himself blackjack. r-d asks why I didn't take a card. I said I wasn't feelin' it. r-d mutters, "Dumb ass."

Dealer change. Throw a big tip at him, which he appreciates, but pointless because they all share tips.

Back to my love who said I cannot win. Two hands later she continued to be correct.

I color up and tap the felt next to r-d. I say, "Good luck," and while walking away I mutter, "dumb ass." Half of what I said is true.

Cash in about $100. F is still at craps. I join him, guy next to the stickman asks, "You a 'don't' playa?" I ask him to repeat. He does. I understand: Don't Pass. I say, "Hell no, I ain't that kinda playa, playa." Which sounded more like: "Nah."

Table's full, visions of low-rise jeans and lower back tattoos keep me in the game. I match the numbers that playa wagers, minus about 90 percent.

Another player throws out a hard eight bet. The chip stays on the felt, acknowledged by the stickman as the shooter rolls. Seven out. Stickman returns the chip to the player. Player's confused, says he placed that bet and lost. Stickman winks, "Didn't hear ya, didn't bet." Player's still confused, says he was trying to be honest. Time to tip the boys, methinks.

F is about even, I leave down $50.

Head to slots to wait for F. Triple up on a Capt&Coke, water, and Corona while playing "Twilight Zone" penny slots, 9 lines/5 credits (45 cents) at a time. I practice my winking like the stickman. I wink at the cocktail waitress to keep 'em coming, but it looks like I have something in my eye and she scatters.

F arrives just as I win 15 free spins.

Cash out $50 and we walk across the street to Club Paradise.

The usual $20 cover charge. Two Coronas. Very nice, very elegant. Very empty. Music videos of the songs displayed on a big screen. Slightly altered videos, including dancers half-nekkid. Nekkid? What kind of club is this, he says innocently.

Tame girls here, if you can find them. Aggressive in approach but lame in action.

Doesn't prevent me partaking in half a dozen. Give or partake.

But more out of boredom. This is what Howard Stern was talking up?

Head to the men's and get the dirt from the attendant, who suggests Sapphire's (been there) and Cheetah's (been there). What about Spearmint Rhino? He nods, I tip, we're off.

It's almost 4 a.m. Spearmint looks dead, we backtrack and check out Li'l Darlin's. Heard they had suds and showers. They were closing up for the night as one dancer hops into her yellow Saab convertible. Were those bubbles trailing her?

Back to Spearmint. Another $20 each, grab front row seats. No time for drinks.

Girl with bad breath approaches, chats of being a student at UNLV. Aren't they all. Enough of a nonpushy soft sell that I agree to the dance. Average.

Apparently Britney Spears is in the house. Britney and bodyguards. I don't see her, but I don't see the hand in front of my face.

Asian girl leans over: "Would you like a dance?" Straight to the point. I say, "I'd like a blonde." My wink's getting better. She says she'll find me the best one and send her right over. Could it be Britney?

F is just about asleep. He's bored and rejecting every girl. Later says he's saving up for Mons Venus and 2001 in Tampa. Hmm. Tampa has an Indian casino. With a cardroom. On the radar.

Suddenly a vivacious blonde jumps in my lap and starts the patter. Name's Jenna, says her butt is too small, I have to check to be sure.

Then another blonde circa Chesty Morgan/Hulk Hogan arrives bellowing, "Someone looking for a blonde?"

I quickly shake my head and point to my left. Dee Snider with implants (hair implants, that is) turns, looks F in the eye, and says, "How about your friend?"

Scared, I agree to a dance from Jenna and we scamper to a private area. Leaving F to fend for himself.

Jenna is good. Really good. She's from DC, makes lingerie and purses and sells them to the dancers. She's wearing one of her thongs, but it keeps falling off. Her favorite place is Reno. Her favorite color is blue. I feel like I know her.

She likes my pants, says it feels good. Later she says, "It's like a mountain." The pants? Whatever "it" is, he says innocently. Not much more talk.

Ten dances and she did something different each time. I kept saying last one, she kept ending with a tease. How could I resist? On number ten, F walks past, motions we need to go.

$200 plus $20 tip. Jenna says to give her my card. She's not allowed to accept it in the open so slide it to her. I do. She'll be in DC in May dancing at Camelot's and she'll give me a call when she's in town and maybe I can come visit or we can do lunch. Her words. Puzzled. I can't afford a $220 lunch, I'm not even a Sweet'n'Low daddy much less a sugar daddy.

F and I zip back to Excal, pick up R who has already packed, and drop off the last of the group at the airport. I'm all alone. Time for poker! But it's too late.

Back to Excal, work off the night at the Eagle Rock penny slots. Then head to bed smelling of stripper perfume.

Monday, I play phone tag with grubette's realtor. Incoming and outgoing 85 cents a minute on the roaming cell, which is somehow more irritating than $20 a dance. Also plans to visit a friend in Henderson who just moved to Vegas from DC. She sold her Capitol Hill house and bought three condos in Henderson.

But first lunch at the buffet. Cashed in a comp. Actually a twofer. Cashier says, "You know this is good for two, but you can't save the other for later." I say, "That's fine, I'll just eat enough for two." She smiles. My wink works.

Buffet is so-so. I don't gorge.

Check messages, tag you're it, Mr. Realtor.

Back to the Eagle Rock penny slots. Can't play poker yet, need at least a couple hours to spare. Grind for half an hour when a woman sits down next to me at Double Dolphins and immediately hits the bonus for 4000 coins. She cashes out. I eat her dust.

Some mutterings from me and another 15 minutes playing Eagle, then I get the three salmon for the bonus, paralyed into an eventual 54 free spins for double her puny bonus. Take that, woman.

Ticket in/ticket out for $100.

Drive to realtor's, says his AC is broken and has to pick up his kid, so follow him. I do. Heavy traffic to the edge of Summerlin: the west side. Not like New York's west side. Not like your father's west side.

About a 45-minute drive. Traffic is really bad.

Neighborhood is small. Next to Fiesta and Texas Station casinos. Texas has a cardroom, I later found out.

Carports. Rock gardens... no, that's the sidewalk. Upstairs, faces empty road. Owner was home, reason for the runaround: no lockbox and he had to be home. He gabs on the phone the whole time. Place is a mess. Odd odor. Memories of an episode of "Cops." Is that a chalk outline?

Walkthru the two-bedroom condo. $89K. Not a bad price, but grubette could do better. Into the master bedroom, the 12-year-old son was on the bed playing video games. May we enter? He says, "The baby's asleep." Better than dead.

Head out in a hurry, depart. Wish I could check out the local casinos, but it's time for Henderson.

Exhausted, almost fall asleep on the I-15. Miss my exit, backtrack and back on track.

Turnoff goes right to Green Valley Ranch. I go left, and K's place is a mere mile away.

Nice suburban area. Memories of Newport Beach without the beach. Unlike what I picture Vegas.

I could live here.

Nice visit with K. Says neighborhood is full of Mormons. I dated a Mormon. Once.

Met K's new baby, two weeks old and adorable. And new cat, slightly older and hairier. Catch up, caffeinate myself, and return to Excal. 6:30 p.m. and it's getting dark. No traffic either way. Strip in less than 20 minutes. Vegas strip, that is.

All throughout, hoping to meet up with Chris Falco, who arrived Sunday night. Thank goodness for text messaging. 10 cents each vs. 85 cents per minute.

Still yet to play poker. Maybe an hour tops. Stretch it to two.

Get into a game. 2/6 spread. Finally. Feel at home. Poker room's remodeling and expanding. All tables are on the casino floor. Still the wheel, still the free food (hotdogs).

Two Capt&Cokes. Text to Chris, who was in a game at Luxor and heading over.

Game is good. ID'd the callers, smelled the rocks. People having a good time. Many bad beats.

Time is limited. Half an hour left. Take my name off the 4/8 waitlist. Feeling a good read on players, felt 2/6 would ultimately profit more than 4/8. If only more time.

Mostly poor players. Except guy to my left. Would rather him be on right.

On right was bad luck baby buck limping with the kitchen sink and raising the max of $6 with 5-5. Bets-calls to river and shows. Always losing hands. Always muckable cards preflop. Sadly states, "Got me on the river." When really it was the flop.

Players left for 4/8. Chris sits down in the 5s. Slaps on cool shades, asks if it's 2/6 spread and on his blind, raises it 6. Brief excitement, perhaps he's playing the maniac WPT part.

Four callers. It's 2/6. People there to play, can't play if you fold. Chris' hand goes down against a poorer starter, the board of which makes the other guy a weak pair.

Chris flips AQo. I'm sorry to see him do this because it shatters the first-in maniac image I thought he was cultivating.

He mucks/limps remaining hands before leaving, I think down a bit.

I stay as long as I can, but it's 90 minutes before my flight leaves.

I cash out $12 down, shower, pack, return the rental, and get to the airport and through security in one hour. Play Presidential slots for 15 minutes hitting nothing, then hit something and cashed out $30 up.

Sleep on redeye, head straight into work fully refreshed. Not.

More earlier Vegas later...


Which segues into... Chris Falco, who emailed me the following about the qualifiers for Party's first Million Dollar multi-tournament:

Cool thing is you win more than one seat in the $600+40 you get paid the $640 cash. I play a lot of single tables and do quite well in them, so I played 2 of the $7+1's last night, and won them both.

I'm thinking I'm going to avoid the multis all together for a while and build up a bunch of $64+6 wins from these $7+1 tables, then try to win a few of those to get a seat in the big on and the $640 cash back for the extra seats.

I really like the odds of the $8 parlay, it's basically a shootout format, win 2 tables win $640 on an $8 buyin. Do it twice or more and you'll really be raking in the money.

Since the tourneys are only $8 I noticed people play extremely loose, and you can really rackup the chips early then wait for a 3 way or heads up showdown.

And then the very next day, Chris put his skill where his mouth was and did just that... he won a 7+1, then won a 64+6, and now he's got a seat with his name on it at the $1M tourney.

My turn!

Last night I played eight 7+1 super qualifiers, four at a time. To repeat what Chris said, if you win one, you get a seat into the 64+6 qualifier. Win that and you get a seat to the 600+40 $1M tourney. Win that, and you're going to Disneyworld, quitting your job, and dating Winona Ryder.

Similar to a sit-n-go but only first place wins (second place is the bubble), you can't just sneak into third place to win back your buy-in.

I like these qualifiers. People go wild in them, fitting somewhere in between the 10+1 and 30+3 SnGs. People make moves they wouldn't ordinarily make, because if they can double or triple up early, they can then sit back and wait for good cards. They do this because it's only 8 smackers. If they lose, they hop to the next one. At least, that's what I think. They could just be bullies.

I played eight of those babies, four at a time.

Nestled within those qualifiers was a 9+1 multi qualifier (top 6 win seats in the $1M), which I lost early on with AA. I raised preflop, was reraised, then I reraised all-in. He called and had a smaller pair (99 I think) and hit his set on the flop. I don't particularly mind this kind of beat, because I was going all-in preflop no matter what. And I'd rather be out early to free up time for other tourneys. Would I be more upset if it were a 200+15? Uh, yes.

As I began busting out of the 7+1, I also played and won a 36+3 qualifier for the WSOP 300+25 tourney on Thursday. Had to double-check my calendar to see if I was free Thursday. Let's see, I might be able to fit Thursday in amongst other poker tournaments...

Of the eight 7+1 qualifiers, I won three -- 37.5 percent, which is in line with my regular SnG stats. I now have three free passes to any of the 64+6 qualifiers.

This morning, I used one of them.

Blinds folded to a raise on the first hand, and it's now the second hand. I don't have a read on anyone.

I'm UTG with 10-10 and I just call T15. One caller. And then the button who raises all-in. Blinds fold to me.

I have a note on him, and the past times I've played him in cash games he's extremely loose/aggressive.

This early in the game, he's got to have nothing. It's a huge bully move to capture the puny pot of T55. It has to be a bluff. He has a low pair or an Ace. Maybe not even a big Ace.

So I push.

He shows KK and I'm out.

Rather than feel bad, I removed the LAG note on him. This was a terrific play. He got me thinking what I was thinking he was thinking, and he knew his all-in would be perceived as a bluff move.

Still, the chances of someone calling that are pretty slim.

Till I came along.

egg drop soup
chicken and mixed vegetables (no cabbage)
steamed chicken
what gives, no fortune cookie!

3 Diet Cokes
Ginger Ale

Wendy's chicken nuggets
Sun Chips
Snickers bar

grub: 10
poker: -113 (last night)
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Gimme the bad, baby!

Last night I went to a reading of a friend's new play. I've always admired her writing, which tends to focus on female neuroses. She used to perform her own pieces, which was appropriate because her characters are exaggerations of her own personality (if you see a monologue of hers, you're almost assured of at least once cringing at something that hits close to home). Seeing her shows inspired me to try my hand at monologues, all two of which are from female points of view... perhaps because I think women are more complex in their thinking or perhaps in an attempt at understanding women myself.

Though our one-acts once shared a showcase, I first met her a couple years later. One night I spotted her in the audience of a summer theater festival in DC. I mentioned to my friend who she was and that I wrote something inspired by her work. I never like going up to people known in the community, because I feel fake and I think they just want to be left alone. When ultimately, they appreciate and are happy for the attention.

So in a rare instance of boldness, I sauntered up and introduced myself.

We got to talking, a mutual friend later vouched for me that I wasn't a stalker (anymore), and we became friends.

Our plays later shared another showcase. And then she directed a reading of a play I wrote for a Sept. 11 benefit (for the wife of a general killed in the Pentagon bombing). Though a small turnout, the local news covered it, and I turned on my NBC affiliate in time to see the theater in lights (which caught some empty seats in the background, ack). How she directed the play and how the actors played the characters moved me. Which seems self-serving and a little pompous, but I'd like to think I can distance myself from my own work enough to still garner an emotional response. (An actor friend sitting next to me had tears welling up afterwards, so there!)

Her play last night was good but one-sided and incomplete. I felt it was a scene and not a play. I did, however, feel it could be part of something bigger. Comments in the audience were positive and they'd like to see more. My thought was she could cut a great deal and still drive across the point, thus making it seem more. Then she'd be free and have the time to open it up to different perspectives.

My weakness as a critic is I too often think how I would write it, or how I would want it to go. I have to reign myself and first ask what the writer's intention is, and then work from there.

Further, it's difficult to critique the work of a friend, for fear of hurting feelings and putting them on the defensive. I used to have a friend whose work I commented a bit too harshly, and I never heard from her again.

I did eventually give the friend the monologue I wrote inspired by her work, and she never responded. Hmm...

Writing for an audience is a humbling experience, and you quickly develop a much-needed thick skin. Hearing a friend speak negatively about your writing is not easy to take, nor is it easy to make.

Me, I want people to tear something of mine apart. I have a select few people I trust in showing drafts, and I don't need to hear the good. Just gimme the bad, baby!


I'm housesitting for a couple friends, so after the play I went straight away to check on the cat. Whenever petsitting I have a fear the pet will end up dead and I'll have to stuff it in the freezer (true story short: this was what I was told to do when working for a petsitting company and the cat on my watch died).

Fortunately, the cat was alive. They had a second cat, who liked to explore the great outdoors. One day he didn't come home. The next day, they found him on their doorstep, silently mewing to get inside. Apparently he had been hit by a car and was pretty banged up, but managed to crawl home. The vet couldn't do anything for him, and he was put down.

Very sad.

He was the extrovert, this one's an introvert and fairly docile. She ignored my charade antics and I found myself playing with her cat toys. So I fed her a couple treats and turned on the TV to watch "Average Joe: Adam Returns" and a taped "Saturday Night Live." This was a marvelous coincidence. My friend has a cable modem, and I said how perhaps I could get online and look for a copy of the past Saturday's "SNL" with Ben Affleck since I was sorry I'd missed it. He pulled a videotape out of a drawer with that very episode, having just reviewed it for his USA Today column. Another perk is he gets screener DVDs (though sadly none this year, curses to MPAA).

Needless to say, I always enjoy taking care of their cat.


Got home and I thought I'd turn in early for a change. But oh the laptop did beckon. The laptop is so much fun to play with, I never thought I'd have this much fun with a PC.

And of course, I had to check the poker sites. A day without poker? Perish the thought.

Played davidross in two 5/10 6max tables (he joined one of mine, I joined one of his). I enjoy playing good players. I respect their raises much more and can laydown a big hand (this occured when I mucked AQo after one bet against hdouble's limp-reraise on my immediate right -- when an Ace flopped I was feeling queasy, but his AKs beat someone else's AQ, and all was right). One or two good players mixed in with a couple bad players is my ideal recipe.

Judging from my dwindling buy-in when David arrived, he mentioned I must be doing as badly as he was, and he was correct. He said his KK was beat six times. I consoled him that it'll come around, it always does. A couple hours later he said he was getting creamed at the other tables and that he was down $1K (I was down $400, and ended the night down another $100). This is typical of these games... you can have big swings particularly with aggressive play. When they pay off, you'll get a big pot. But when they don't...

This conversation was all in the chat. I'm usually quiet in chat, not even saying "nh" but throwing in a "ty" if someone says it to me. I think there's a danger in talking about how bad you're running, as it affects your image. People will begin taking shots at you, knowing you've probably tightened up and will fold to a bluff raise. They may also play bad hands against you, knowing how your "luck" is going, knowing you could tilt at any moment if they happened to catch miracles.

All the beats were of the same inside straight or rivered trips/two pair variety. You know the drill. But I should also know enough to let go of a strong hand and not call that river raise. I still haven't learned.

After five hours of play, I lost half as much as David. I still haven't achieved any of the big nights that he has, but I've only started playing four tables. Too bad it's been a lousy start, but I'm hoping it will indeed turn around soon. I just hope my bankroll doesn't disappear before then.

lemon doughnut
custard doughnut
plain bagel with cream cheese
McDonald's Egg McMuffin
McDonald's hash browns
McDonald's fruit'n'yogurt parfait

Diet Coke

egads, after that breakfast? i need to hit the restroom...


grub: ...
poker: -500 (last night)
Monday, March 22, 2004

I tried dropping down in limits, I really did. But 1/2 6max is slow slow slow. Players are weaker, looser, more passive. Several streets go by being checked all around. I'm just not used to that. I actually hope someone bets/raises to give me an excuse to fold. If I'm let through in the BB with trash and see the flop or turn with my one card open-ended straight or flush possibility, it kills me to have to call a bet when I would never have been in the hand to begin with.

Variance is much less. Risk is much less.

And I'd rather have a few more cavities filled than play four tables of 1/2. Yes, even if it means losing another $1K in the 5/10 6max.

I'm playing poker for fun more than anything else. When it stops being fun, I'd like to think I could stop.

I also barely got any Empire points, because many 1/2 hands went by without any rake (all that checking going on). Only raked hands count toward points, and I'm still 800 points away from joining the top 100. I don't feel this is possible. There are only three more days to qualify, and with 10 points equaling 100 raked hands, there's no way I can play much more than I already do unless I call in sick for three days (hmmm...).


Played a ton of multi tournaments this weekend. Seemed to place consistently in the top 10-20 percent, but not good enough to cash in any of them (ohhh, there's nothing sarcasm on better sarcasm off than spending 3 1/2 hours playing a multi with nothing to show for it). I did better in the SnGs. And still better in the cash games. And all of that cash was redeposited into the multis.

My final multi was Empire's WSOP tourney, awarding the top three finishers a WSOP package worth $12K (a $10K seat, airfare and hotel, and spending money). This replaced their weekly $50K guaranteed tourney, so the overall payoff was less but somewhat made up for in that three people would receive the top prize (wouldn't it have been fun if only three people entered?). I thought this may have been the end to the guaranteed $50K, but fortunately Empire is bringing it back next Sunday.

As the WSOP approaches, I find I really want to be in Vegas at the end of April. I have no vacation time left, but I could probably take unpaid leave. And that would be a terrific excuse.

Winning one of these qualifiers for a WSOP seat is better than winning $12K. Aside from taxes, you don't have to make a decision whether to put the $12K to good use paying bills for expensive laptops et al. vs. squandering it on a $12K Vegas WSOP trip. If I won $12K, I'd be hard-pressed to blow it all on a seat where I'd be dead money. If I won a seat, well, I couldn't not go, eh?

For the first time, I wrote all of my hands down, which I'm posting here. The good part about not keeping track of what I have is I usually forget as soon as it hits the muck and am not in the position to think what I could've had. In all these instances, I felt good about folding and would do it again. I'm just posting how the board developed for grins and giggles.

I'm bolding the hands I won (all five of 'em). In all, I saw 22 percent flops and won 66 percent showdowns.

Feel free to skip this part unless you need a cure for insomnia.

A7o (folded)
9-10o (folded)
8-10o in BB (folded to raise)
10-6o in SB (folded)
10-4o (folded)
68o (folded)
A2o (folded)
K-10s (called one bet... flop is 7-9-A, all suited but not my suit... folded on flop)
94o (folded)
Q4o (folded... board ended up being 10-A-K-7-J and if I'd kept the Q I would've had a royal... as it was, A-10 won)
64s (folded)
A6s (called one bet... flop is J-A-7, and I lead the betting... I'm raised on the turn of 10... enough people still in that I call... river rescues me with a 6 and I raise... he had 7-10o)
79s BB (folded)
88 SB (called one bet... flop is K-9-3, I fold)
96o (folded... board is A-J-9-6-5)
62o (folded)
AA (I raise, flop/turn is 7-2-10-9 putting out a three flush with two callers and I still bet out, river is a 9 and I chicken out and check, it's checked through and I'm good)
9Jo (folded)
78o (folded)
89o (folded)
37o (folded... flop/turn is 4-10-7-3)
K2o (folded)
68s BB (a free flop of 2-8-A, I fold to a raise)
A6o SB (folded to a 3bet... flop/turn is 6-6-Q-A)
79s (folded)
KJo (folded to a raise... board is K-3-J-Q-6... and thank goodness, because I would've been dead to a straight and a flush)
A5o (folded)
Q6s (folded)
75o (folded)
10-10 (call a 3bet... flop is 3-J-10... I bet out with one caller in between, raiser raises... I'd planned to reraise on the turn, which was an Ace... and JJ or AA scared me into becoming passive enough to check it down... river is a 5 and my set is good)
AJo (folded... I'm proud of this fold UTG, which I'd normally call in any other game)
33 BB (call one bet, then I'm trapped into a reraise... flop is 7-4-3... I'm betting like there's no tomorrow... turn is a 5, which slows me way down... river is a K and my set is good)
KQo (call a 3bet... flop is 8-7-10 (suited)... no spade for me, and I fold)
Q4o (folded)
Q8o (folded)
K2o (folded)
9-10s (I'm first in and decide to raise this... BB is the only caller and we see the flop of 5-4-8... I bet, he calls... turn is a King... I bet, he folds, and I win my bluff... little did I realize this would be my last winning hand of the evening)
67o (folded)
10-J (folded)
J9o (folded UTG... and what a flop: 7-10-8... turn/river was 8-A... winner had 85s, can you imagine the fireworks if I had called one bet?)
Q5o BB (folded to a raise)
A5o SB (completed, folded on flop of 6-J-J)
68o (folded)
AKo (called a raise, folded on the turn: 8-3-5-4... river gave a 2... raiser had A-10s, bluffer had Q-9s, both had a busted flush draw)
QTo (called one bet, folded on flop of 5-K-A... turn came a J)
A-10o (called one bet, folded on flop raise of 9-10-Q with two diamonds)
K5o (folded)
77 (first in, I raise and am reraised... check-fold on flop of Q-J-6)
Q7o (folded)
J2o (folded)
QKo BB (this was a crazy hand that I couldn't let go... I check my option and we get a flop of 10-Q-5 all suited... someone bets, I raise, am re-raised, three of us see the turn of a 7... we check-call down to the river of a 10... the raiser had 7J of that suit (the flush was expected) and the other guy had A5 with the Ace being of that suit... I just could not fold this when just an AQ could've beaten me)
10-Jo SB (folded, board of 9-Q-10-3-K)
J7s (folded)
8-10o (folded)
Q7o (folded)
A7o (folded)
K4s (folded)
A2o (folded)
83s (folded)
10-6o (folded)
44 BB (UTG raises and is reraised, I fold... two players see the flop of 6-5-4... still heavy betting, turn is 7... more betting... river is 3 and both split... one had AA, other had AQo)
67s SB (folded)
A8o (folded)
AJo (folded to a raise, may have tossed in one bet otherwise)
10-4s (folded)

Headed into the first break at T1305. Average chip count was T1310.

J4o (folded)
K2o (folded)
JJ (first in, I raise... one caller with 2x my chipstack... flop is 3-A-2, I bet, he calls... turn is 4, I bet, he raises, I fold)
A2o (folded)
34o (folded)

and the final, killer hand:

K-10s (I call one bet, everyone and his cousin also calls, LP raises, and we have huge implied odds as everyone calls... I get lucky on flop of 3-10-K and I bet out figuring I'd get reraised, and I do, and I 3bet... three players to the turn of 9, I check-raise and am now all-in... same three players see the river of a Jack... the preflop raiser had AA... other call-call-call guy had KQo and busts both of us out and I go home)

Well, not quite.

I played two 5/10 6max tables until I made up the $150+12 entry fee plus a few bucks over, enough to be able to biggie size a meal at Wendy's. Thank goodness for Wendy's late-night drive-thru! Also got a large Frostee, mmm...

Time at the 5/10 6max was about 90 minutes, and I can sleep better knowing I didn't lose $150+12.

I have no excuse for the reverse of that, throwing money I made this weekend into the longshot tourneys (ahem, Party's $200+15 big games) when I could have banked that and helped to stem the losses of the past few days.

But at least I came out even for the weekend.

And hmm... judging from my actions in cash game profits-into-tourney fees, maybe if I won $12K, I really would put it toward a seat. Here's hoping I'm in that position to choose!


I played a mixture of cash tourneys and qualifiers. More and more I'm thinking it's not worth playing the qualifiers (the cheap 20+2 or 30+3 tourneys to get seats into the bigger 200+15 multis). I could spend just as much time playing cash games to buy into the tournaments themselves.

I'm amazed at the calls people make, perhaps thinking I'm on a bluff. In a multi qualifier, I was in the BB with KK and I reraised all-in after several people limped in. All folded except for one, who would be severely crippled if he called. He did with 77. Our cards flipped over, the flop came, the turn came, and I thought I was in the clear until you-know-what appeared on the river. As I packed my bags, he said: "nice to be lucky." If this were live, I may very well have thrown my Capt&Coke at him.

So I stuck around, watching to see how he did with my chips. While I do pull for people that give me a beat like that, that snide comment gave him the grubby curse.

It was a Party qualifer for the WPT super on Tuesday (worth $300+25) and top 13 won seats.

When it dwindled to four tables, some interesting chat occurred. I do deem this as collusion and encouragement to collude. It's too bad that all the people involved were in the top 13 and will go on to play the WPT super. Cheaters win after all.

I cut-and-pasted the relevant chat (DaxFund is the one who busted me with his 77). And yes, I'm probably posting this out of malice as well. Feel the grub wrath!

Drakir38: our table has the most money by far
Drakir38: almost half the money is at this table
vegasshooter: let s keep it here
Drakir38: if we slow up play and don't kill each other we will qualify
vegasshooter: sounds good
Drakir38: take your tim,e
Drakir38: evryoby slow down
vegasshooter: cant u here dax
vegasshooter: hear
Drakir38: the blinds will kill the other vtables
DaxFund: i'm the short stack
DaxFund: going to fold the blinds to me????
Drakir38: not nearly as bad as other tables
DaxFund: i mean when Im in the big
nparcal: what if just folded away the rest of the game
Drakir38: 26 left
rreeves30: everybody take thier time
Drakir38: only 13 to go
vegasshooter: dax u r fine
DaxFund: ok
rreeves30: u are in
DaxFund: i do have a hand
jimd66: do you wont me to take all the time
rreeves30: np u are in
nparcal: they dont switch up the tables?
rreeves30: u can go walk the dog lol
Drakir38: not now
DaxFund: no we are table 1 we just have to convince the others when they come in
vegasshooter: SLOW PLAY
rodeosp: you wont have to convince them cause the top 13 are all same prize
nparcal: how much is the top prize in the next tournament?
Drakir38: 29000
rreeves30: seat at wpt
vegasshooter: lets all get in and then beat the hell out of each other
flyguy95974: Bellagio trip dude
Drakir38: what is that XXXX
rreeves30: can u opt for cash
TipsyJoker: no
TipsyJoker: not unless you win two
Drakir38: we arnt betting
Drakir38: dont u guys gte it
Drakir38: slow down and dont bet
Drakir38: only ten more to go
Drakir38: fold
Drakir38: jeasus
nparcal: i wish this was for $60,000
vegasshooter: im sure u do
DaxFund: tf
DaxFund: wtf
vegasshooter: 10 more.....SLOW PLAY
rreeves30: i got pp
DaxFund: deals OFF
TipsyJoker: have to play em when you got em lol
DaxFund: FU
Drakir38: that snot right
Drakir38: we will all jump on u then
TipsyJoker: whats not right?
Drakir38: I folded AA
DaxFund: mother fr
vegasshooter: now u r fkd
rreeves30: i floded 4 4
TipsyJoker: had pockets also
DaxFund: hey tipsy fu
Drakir38: down to 9
TipsyJoker: whatever
TipsyJoker: seen you go allin several times
DaxFund: with hands prior to the deal you sht
TipsyJoker: what deal
Drakir38: we all made a deal
DaxFund: fu tipsy
TipsyJoker: you think i have time to pay attention to chat
Drakir38: just slow play and no bets we all win
rreeves30: i thought we did
Drakir38: our tabel has
Drakir38: most of the money
TipsyJoker: even if i saw the deal, i would not agree
TipsyJoker: its like cheating
Drakir38: it is not
TipsyJoker: it is
DaxFund: tipsy you must think we are all stupid
vegasshooter: how did i get moved
Drakir38: the top 13 spots pay the same anmmoiunt
TipsyJoker: called collusion
TipsyJoker: not fair to other table
Drakir38: just smart play
rreeves30: damm pp agian
TipsyJoker: im not a real big stack, would be good for me to go along, but not fair
zosoman69: i have 2 agree would b cheating
zosoman69: i think i may just go tell the floorperson of your plans
TipsyJoker: i was not in it
DaxFund: fu tipsy
TipsyJoker: hey dude, relax
TipsyJoker: i am just for a fair game
Drakir38: it is fair
TipsyJoker: it isnt, if you dont see it, then no point in arguing
nparcal: we have to pick up the pace the other tables are waiting for us
Drakir38: ok
Drakir38: we are doen to two tables
Drakir38: so play in tempo
TipsyJoker: its hand for hand now, no need to slow it down
Drakir38: you are right
zosoman69: go dax
nparcal: gh
zosoman69: we need to see more people with balls going all in!!
Drakir38: they have 2 players that will go on the blinds
roadrunner70: not any more
TipsyJoker: phew
TipsyJoker: mucked 55 lol
rreeves30: had to np srryu
rreeves30: was looking for a fold
nparcal: gh
vegasshooter: 7 left drakir
vegasshooter: table 2 sucks
Drakir38: hi richie
Drakir38: just saw u
vegasshooter: still mutiny over
roadrunner70: fak u shooter
jimd66: was that to me
roadrunner70: no 2 vegas shooter
jimd66: thanks
Drakir38: we here?
jimd66: whats going on
DaxFund: yeah
rodeosp: 5 to go
nparcal: there is two small stacks on the other table
DaxFund: fold to me
rreeves30: srry np
DaxFund: ty
jimd66: nice
TipsyJoker: nh
DaxFund: and against my XXXXXXXX buddy
TipsyJoker: lol
TipsyJoker: you really need to relax a bit
DaxFund: tipsy your move earlier ....
nparcal: dax your gonna make it after all
rreeves30: i just got beat in a single qualifer with 3 all in i had a a
rreeves30: got to love this game
DaxFund: not there yet
nparcal: 3 more
DaxFund: fold to me
Friday, March 19, 2004
Damage control

I'm still running bad, dropping another $160 last night in the tremendously fishy tables.

Today's fortune cookie prophesizes: A merry PartyPoker fish makes a cheerful countenance (actually "heart" and not "fish," but the same sentiment).

My bankroll in sorry shape, I'm going to drop down in limits. I still want to take a shot at the freeroll, where I'm now 800 points away. Slightly more than 1000 raked hands a day? I can do it!

I fully sympathized with grubette in these series of hands. I cobbled together some of her emails, and an emailing grubette is an uncensored grubette. So if four-letter words offend you... well, you shouldn't be playing poker!

Here's grubette...

I took off a day of work yesterday and played in what I thought was a NL tourney, but it was limit. $25 buy-in, 205 players, I re-bought $40. Prior to the tourney I played live $4/8 and went 1/2 hour late to the tourney (to avoid the temptation of rebuys). I lost $55.

During the tournament I had pocket 3's. The flop was 9-9-3. two s. Seat one bet, I raised, he re-raised, it was capped (3 players). Turn's a blank . Seat one bet, I raised, other player's out. Seat one re-raised, I re-raised and then was told by the table since it was head's up we could go on re-raising unlimited (which wasn't true, because there was another player in the pot before we started the raise-a-thon). So 1s says, "I have 300 left, is that okay?" and I said, "I'll keep raising til you have none left." And I was so confident I had won this because I put him on a trip 9's. I call his all-in.. he turns over AK s, the nut flush. I actually felt bad beating his Ace high flush with a baby full house. He played it off casually, saying he wanted to "triple re-buy" anyway.

That was the only pot I won for 2 hours.

Then I sat at another seat with about 1200 left and the blinds were 300/500. The dealer, Ernesto, sat there for 20 minutes and didn't give me a single face card that I could play. He gave me 86o right before the blind--which I folded--and then flopped 5-7-9. Christ.. and on my blind, I really was blind and didn't even look. Someone raised and I raised without looking, all-in. I had a 74o and lost, naturally. Out in a dismal 70th place.

I was going to go home, but I decided to play live a just a little while. On $4/8, the dealer's pushed by Ernesto, the dealer that dealt me crap at the tourney. I mention this to the table. One of my first hands was pocket 3's, again! The flop was a rainbow A-3-7. I was first to bet and I did, was raised, then re-raised, then capped. What up! On a pair of aces maybe? Turn's a 6. Hell I just check! A bet, a raise, I call. River's an 8. No flush possibility.. I guess a straight possibility, but I doubt people would be betting like that with a draw . Hell I just check! A bet, a call, I call. I'm just holding my sucker 3's waiting for everyone else to reveal.. AQ turns over, who points to Mr. AK saying, "AK's got it." Then I casually say, "I have three 3's." Moans all around. Why didn't she bet it? Was she slow-playing? I didn't like the betting strategy and felt like I'd slow down. Though I realized whatever I did on that hand, I would've been called.

Soon after, I get Q7 unsuited. For some reason I play it.. flop is Q-6-5. A bet, a raise, I call. Turn's a 7 giving me two pair. A bet, a raise, I call. River's a Q, giving me a boat. A bet, a raise.. to me I'm thinking.. too long. And I raise to $24.. it's capped at $32, and then everyone calls. One guy has two pair and bad beatee has a boat, Queens full of fives. That was a monster of a pot. My fingers went numb and my stomach fell on the floor.

A few hands later, I have KQ unsuited. Board is Q-J-x-x-J. I was checking the whole way, but at the end bad beatee bets when it was head's up. Psychologically, I know he wouldn't bet into me when it's head's up, because he likes me. If he had trip Jacks, he would check to me, and have his best hand beat mine, that's all. Plus the pot wasn't big enough. He was bluffing me! I knew it.. so I called, he admitted he had nothing and I turned over the winner.

Tipped Ernesto $15--he made up for the lousy cards he gave me at the tournamet. Left in 45 minutes up $220, not bad, not bad. Maybe this time it was because I had zero to drink because I had class that evening. Think they're related?

A couple days later...

I had a dream last night I had pocket Q's and the caller had pocket 5's. Nothing on the entire board, so I won. But the dealer pushed the pot to the other guy and mucked both sets of cards. I tried to protest but he said I was too late.

Doug wanted to go to HI-G. I expressly said I did not want to go, because I had just won for the first time in a long time. I repeated that I didn't want to go in the car, but Doug said it would only be til 11 or so because we had to get up at 7 am the next morning for the yard sale.

While on the board for NL, I played at Doug's table $3/6. I sat next to this woman that went all in, and ended up making an inside straight on the river while Doug had 3 Q's the whole time. So she was back in the game. In the 15 minutes I sat there, she won with two suckouts on the river, a 5-2 and 7-2, making a straight both times. Both of those hands, I had pocket pair and raised the entire time but she would not fold. Normally I'm not a "tiltable" player, but that made me so freakin' mad and jumped up at her 7-2, said, "OH MY GOD" and left the table. Doug was still there, and the woman asked him what was wrong. He said that I couldn't stand to play with people that didn't know how to play poker. Then I called him from the bathroom and total let loose, cussing up and down. I went back to the NL board while on the phone I wanted so bad to kick her ass while everyone heard me. I've never been so pissed off at a table before in my life. She was so ostracized at the table after I left she ended up leaving, +300.

That lady made me mad because 1) she really didn't know how to play; 2) she said she didn't know how to play; 3) she was losing until I got there and actually rooted for her to win one pot. When she sucked me out on that one hand, I told her, "I'm not rooting for you anymore."; 4) She slapped that hammer down proudly as if people make freakin' straights out of that crap all the freakin' time. At least they were suited, but there was no flush possibility through the river.

On tilt, I went outside to smoke a cigarette. Luckily, I ended up talking to a nice guy "Michael" that told me he used to be a dealer and a pit boss in Vegas. He said he'd played poker for 30 years so I recounted the story. He said people like that lose in the long run which I know I know! It doesn't make it less irritating. It's equivalent to splitting 20's in blackjack. I told him I would've kicked her ass if she came outside.. which was funny because she walked out just then (to smoke). She saw me sitting pathetically in a shoe shine chair glaring at her, glanced away quickly and the ran out of the area. Then I went back in and called Doug, saying I just saw her leave and he told me the table was relentlessly chastising her and she couldn't take the heat. On the phone with Doug I said, "I would love to kick her freakin' ass" and the pit boss heard me and laughed. I'm sure it seemed funny.

At NL, won one hand early because a guy was bluffing with a pair of 8's (I had K's) and put in $25 to a pot that was like $20. After that, down down down. Then it was 3.30am, Doug and I were both down several hundred dollars each. I had a good table, and a good time, but I can't keep playing like this. 2 hours later, we had to get up for our yard sale.. and we really needed to win this $ back. We made $200, but had to pay $30 to advertise in the paper, and $10 for a freakin' permit. And now we have no sofas in the front room and no $ to buy more.

I lost $450. Doug lost $300. It was especially bad when I went to the ATM, somewhat drunk, and withdrew $20, paying a $3 service fee. I meant $200! Paid yet another $3 for the real $200 withdrawal. Then, I had to return in 2 hours for another $200 withdrawal, and it said I went over my limit. So I withdrew $180. the max allowable without feeling like a total jackass. Sad thing is, I went there with $200. So I had $600 and lost nearly all of it. I entirely blamed Doug on the loss, saying I didn't (and I really didn't and wouldn't have) want to go.

To make matters worse, the only food place open is Denny's at 4am (Doug didn't want to spend one more minute at HI-G). So we had a pot-smoking waitress that forgot my drink, forgot to give $10 change and poured out her sad and boring life to us. Pancakes were great.

My goal last Fri (i've been having goals nearly every time now so I don't go crazy) was to win my haircut back, which was $60. Unfortunately, I didn't have a loss goal. Guess my atm limit took care of that.

I should actually enjoy playing pots like that.. in NL, this guy had $600 in front of him and I had $150. I had AT unsuited. Pre-flop, he raised it to $13, which he did every hand. I called. The flop was 2-T-6. He bet $20, which I called. Turn was 5, two s. He looks at my chips, and bets $200. So I have top pair with the best kicker. I probably should have called, but the way he was playing he was throwing everything into the pot. I showed the two guys next to me while I was thinking about when to fold. I would definitely fold because I had to think too long about it. The pot was $70 maybe.. I folded, the dealer and the two guys that saw my cards said I should've called. The bettor showed his cards, 4-5s. But he easily could've had pocket Q's. Or could've gotten a on the river and made a flush. Or gotten another 5.

So in a similar betting sequence, I have KJ and get top pair J's on the flop. On the turn, he bets like $20 but I go all in. The board is 4-J-7-9. He calls my all-in (with - the -bottom - pair!), and the river is a 4. He has K-4 unsuited. Why why why do people call that shit!!!Fucker! He's friends with college boy. He is in college, studying ICS at UCI. Ass-wipe.

egg drop soup
mixed vegetables with chicken (no cabbage)
steamed rice
fortune cookie (see above)
Girl Scout Cookies -- tagalongs
1 strawberry

4 Diet Cokes


grub: ...
poker: ...

Thursday, March 18, 2004
That which does not kill you...

When I haven't posted in a couple days, you probably know the tables have been far from kind. Not even giving my neighborhood homeless guy (who was wearing a big St. Paddy's Day stovetop hat and seemed far happier than I was) a few bucks could help my poker karma.

Tuesday: -417
Wednesday: -509

Both days were spent playing 2200 hands on four tables of 5/10 6max in an effort to accumulate enough points at Empire to participate in the March 27 freeroll for a seat in the Bellagio Five-Star World Poker Classic. Empire finally released their super-secret calculations for calculating points (the square root of raked hands -- jeesh!) and I have 900 points to go before being in the top 100. If everyone else is also bonus point whoring for this freeroll, it doesn't look likely I'll make it (I would need a minimum of 1000 raked hands per day).

Is it worth losing almost a grand just to participate? That's still to be determined...

The past two days have been demoralizing and have affected the size of the hole in my wall, sleep, and attitude. Not so much in fear at betting or my play at the tables (though admittedly, I was tilting the first night) but normal everyday life. I'm much more perturbed at daily annoyances than usual (no, I will not have a good one, what the hell is a "one"?).

In evaluating my play, one thing I need to change in low-limits is calling a raise on the river. A scenario that I had more than my share of:

I get AK or AQ. Flop gives me top pair, top kicker. Also on that flop is, let's say, a 3. I bet the whole way, losing some callers eventually down to one calling station. The river comes a 3. I still bet out and am now raised.

I need to go ahead and assume that person can now beat top pair/top kicker and fold. Unless they're stoned, people just don't make a play like that without having something better (a turn-raise could perhaps be on a draw or also having the nuts, but a river raise is deadly). I would save a BB each time.

But no, I make the crying call and find out he has 10-3 (suited, mind you...) or J3 (again suited) or 34 (offsuit). All three of these happened last night, with three different people making their bottom pair on the flop and then calling the whole way to the river, unafraid of overcards. What's worse is that on two of the hands I flopped top two pair, and Mr. Calling Station still doesn't believe and thinks his low pair could be good.

You gotta love that. Until they come for you. Then you want to kill them. I guess the Jesus movie didn't teach me anything about forgiveness and love for my enemies. All I want for them is a public flogging.

grubette had a similar beating this weekend. I'm piecemealing her emails together and will post a ranting, tilting, drunk grubette tomorrow.


Also played a 30+3 multi last night. It was the 1 a.m. tourney, and I was so tired I started falling asleep between hands (drinking a couple Pajama Parties (don't laugh) earlier in the evening from Hotel Helix didn't help). Party's beeping to remind me was the only thing keeping me up. Almost three hours later, play is also slow because we're hand-for-hand now, leading into cashing. Over 700 people entered, and we're down to the low 80s (top 80 cashed). I was on the button with AQs, I'm first in and raise all-in. The BB who covers me calls with AA and I'm out bubble-ish.

I'd probably do it again. The odds of that happening isn't too likely, and I was under chip average. Even though I'd get my buy-in back plus a bit more, cashing still wouldn't have put me in a good chip position. I don't care about cashing, I want to win.


On Tuesday I saw the new Charlie Kaufman extravaganza Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. For months I'd been looking forward to this movie (I have the script but it's remained unread) with a mix of anticipation and dread. For sheer number of ideas and creativity, Kaufman writes over and above anyone else in Hollywood, and advance word was that this would be no different, fitting easily into the Kaufman oeuvre alongside Being John Malkovich, Human Nature, Adaptation, and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Actors take paycuts to be in his movies. That's how you know how committed they are.

I'm a huge fan and connect with all his ideas. But ever since hearing of the movie and seeing the previews (heck, ever since Malkovich came out and people familiar with my writing (the puppets, man, the puppets) calling me asking if I had written it... um, I wish), I had a sinking feeling and couldn't watch because it treads on a familiar idea that I had for a romance involving erasing memories and told in a naturalistic setting vs. fantasy or science fiction.

And hearing Kaufman was behind it... it's akin to Howard Lederer sitting down in your home game. You just want to give up.

True, there are no original ideas out there, just variations on a theme. That's why we get three dinosaur movies released at the same time, or two asteroid-hits-Earth scenarios, or three adults-and-children-swapping-places pictures. It's all cyclical, it's all been done before, you just have to tell it in a unique way.

Watching Eternal Sunshine, I could see the plotpoints being hit and ticked off. I knew what was coming, where it was going. I saw things that I should've added to my own pedestrian-in-comparison screenplay. It was eerily similar to my own script, if my script was just one of the ideas in Eternal Sunshine.

And I gotta say, the movie is bloody brilliant. I cannot recommend it enough. It's moving, it's touching, it's intellectual, it's romantic. It continues Kaufman's exploration into identity and what makes a person who they are.

But it's not for everyone, or else Focus would have focused more on a December opening to be in Oscars' memories. Four people in my row got up and walked out, not expecting a Jim Carrey movie without fart jokes. He's taken serious turns before -- The Truman Show is a particular favorite of mine, The Majestic not so much -- and like Robin Williams, I prefer Carrey when he's more subtle and not always "on."

I went by myself, but it's the perfect date movie.

Check it out!


McDonald's Egg McMuffin
McDonald's fruit'n'yogurt parfait

4 Diet Cokes

Wendy's mandarin chicken salad
M&Ms (plain)


grub: 100 (incl. cavity filling from Monday)
poker: -417


Booeymonger's Patty Hearst (turkey, Russian dressing, baguette)
Knot's Berry Farm cookies
M&M cookies

2 Diet Cokes
2 Pajama Parties

hush puppies
burger with cheddah

grub: 50
poker: -509


Monterey's Pizza with Italian sausage, roasted garlic, mushrooms, mozzarella
Mozarella sticks

3 Diet Cokes


grub: ...
poker: -160
Monday, March 15, 2004
"I am your dentist"

Congrats to poker blogger Richard Brodie for making it to the PartyPoker Million cruise and being in second place at the end of Day One!


After seven years of avoiding the dentist, I decided to go. Ashamed that I hadn't been in so long to my regular family dentist, I selected a new one from the insurance book and many recommendations from coworkers about how nice and friendly this one dentist was. I make an appointment and go.

Both hygienist and dentist separately told me I had the gums of a 55-year-old.

I'm not 55.

They also said they were surprised I still had any upper teeth left.

This was three years ago. That scared me sufficently enough to not want to go back. If my gums were deteriorating that fast, what age would they be three years later?

My gums are a mess because I brush too hard. All the aggression in being sucked out on with gutshot straights goes into that Reach toothbrush, which I continue to use until it breaks in half. Literally. That's how I know it's time for a new brush.

I changed my brushing habits, more or less. Previously I would still use the brush when the bristles were completely flattened. A stick would've been a better brush. Now, I replace them as soon as fraying begins. I time it with my Vegas trips, bringing the brush with me and then tossing it there as a little extra treat for the maid (kidding). One less thing to carry back.

Last year I decided to make my triumphant return to the family dentist. My insurance was going to waste (doctors... feh) and I figured I should take advantage of it while I could and get my teeth in chip chomping shape. The verdict: gums were bad but would retain the teeth unless I wanted to carve out some of my ass to replace some gums.

But. Seven cavities with one possible root canal.


I hadn't had a cavity since baby teeth. I was still in denial about how fillings happened, thinking they "filled in" between the teeth, not even contemplating they rip apart the tooth to fill and then reattach it.

The root canal, the dentist assured me, is not at all painful "like the movies. I said, "So it's like TV?" A curt nod was her response, as if she'd heard it all before.

Over the next few months I paid a visit with one or two fillings (thankfully, she said I narrowly avoided the root canal but it's on her watchful list). It worked better that way for the trauma of my mouth and wallet.

Today was my final visit (and it just so happens, six months have passed and it's already time for my next cleaning, which I've scheduled for the appropriate April 15th -- Tax Day).

When grubette and I were grublets, we went to this dentist every six months. His kids shared the same babysitter, playing games including Ice Breaker (I think that was the name -- you had a plastic mallet and pecked at plastic ice cubes until they all came crashing down... haunting foreshadowing of cavity filling). We found out their father was a dentist, and began going to him regularly. No discount, but we got extra lollipops.

Though his name is still on the marquee (in a brand new high-tech location that I helped fund), I wondered why I never saw him. Found out today that he retired and only comes in once a week to check on things. (Is he playing online poker the rest of the week?)

His successor is excellent. Fast, efficient, very friendly bedside manner telling me everything she's doing and what I should be expecting. Attractive. Smells good. Married. I probably have a bit of a crush on her. Not so much that I stopped flossing and crunched hard candy to develop more cavities, but on the verge (and I can't floss daily to save my life).

I'm truly amazed I survived seven (or eight? I lost count) fillings and never had any sensitivity problem or headache or any repercussions she said might happen. If you're in the DC area and need a dentist recommendation, I'd be happy to give one.

Just use the IGGY referral code!


After the dentist, I wandered around the midday experiencing what life might be like outside of a desk job. A beautiful, mid-60s sunny day in the Northern Virginia suburbs. Visited the library for the first time in six months (a $5.60 fine) and picked up the book that derived iggy's moniker.

All the kids in school. Mostly women wandering about. An empty McDonald's. Extremely relaxing.

I thought how nice it would be to have my laptop, hanging outside with a mocha frappuccino, playing PartyPoker.

One day.


After work and on the tables, I steered clear of the multis and played 5/10 6max and three 30+3 SnGs. Won two of the SnGs and came out ahead on three of the four 5/10 tables, which were either wild and crazy or just my imagination playing four at once.

I was thinking of yesterday and how I spent $515 in tourney fees, which seems a crazily insane amount to throw away altogether. One by one, however, and interspersed among cash games, that amount didn't seem so high. $150+12 is a hefty chunk of change, to be sure, but on the $50K guaranteed multi with only 196 people entered, the value was of a $255 entry fee (+ juice) in addition to a Friday $5K freeroll valued at a $25 entry fee (+ juice).

Even if I had to borrow money, I would play this tournament every time. I consider simply by entering, I'm already getting an extra $118 in value.

Tonight, however, no multis and I was able to lock in a solid win.

... which will come in handy for the 600+40 million tourney on April 17th... (I'll never learn)...

McDonald's California Cobb salad
4 Chicken McNuggets
fruit'n'yogurt parfait
2 sticks of string cheese
2 Snickers bars

4 Diet Cokes

Wendy's chicken nuggets
Twix bar

grub: 20 (incl. library fine)
poker: 450
Sunday, March 14, 2004
That's poker... keep smiling

Yesterday, caught an excellent play in character study called [sic] by Melissa James Gibson. Centered around three characters on the third floor of an apartment complex, it really doesn't go anywhere structurally (and the second act reiterates the first). But I loved the characters so much I could've watched them for a few hours more.

It's a shame that movies don't invest as much time developing characters (preferring action and special effects). Television is better, but there's more time over the span of 22 episodes. What we normally get is the tortured soul who defended his girl in a barroom brawl and was sentenced to life for a CRIME HE DIDN'T COMMIT. Oh yeah, that's character.

The director put the audience inside that floor, spreading us around so we had to peer from apartment to apartment on three separate sets connected by a hallway. Nice touches abounded. I don't know if it was in the script, but when each character spoke of their unseen landlady who had died, they pronounced her name differently, signifying that they each knew her as a different person. Very nice touch.

Ran into a few actors I know. One of whom was with someone who is just out of college and relatively new to the scene. She's well on her way to Equity, already having been in some big plays. She has this stunning smile that brightens up the room and makes me all wobbly kneed. When she asked what I did, the first thing that popped into my mind was: poker.

This radiance is a common trait among actors. If it could only be bottled.


I never did post a photo of that puppet play from January (you know, the one about the brother and sister locked in a closet). Here 'tis! They convincingly played teens, though they're both in their 20s. The girl is holding the ominous puppet in question, whose head at one point is torn off by the brother. But they had a problem with it falling off indiscriminately when it wasn't supposed to fall off. So instead the brother pops off something else of the puppet's (and no, it's not that, jeesh, get yer head outta the FCC!).

I use the same characters (sans puppet) in a children's screenplay. I liked them so much that I pulled them out of the movie and plopped them into a creepy play to see how they would react. I need to get back to the screenplay. I'd abandoned it a few years back because whenever I worked on it, it kept heading toward Wizard of Oz territory. Already I feel I'm a plagiarist, because the major plotpoint has them journeying to the center of the Earth (cf. Jules Verne, one of the Dorothy in Oz books, etc.).

May 1st is the annual looming deadline for the big Nicholl Fellowship competition. It's been quite awhile since I've written, and I'm hoping with the intervening years I can approach the script from a fresh perspective. In the coming weeks I hope to slow down on the poker to concentrate more on writing. I just have to win one multi and I'll be set!


I've been hearing ads for the new Coen Bros. movie, the remake of The Ladykillers starring Tom Hanks. I love the Coens, but years ago a friend lobbied hard to write the first draft and got the gig (if I recall correctly, she set it in New Orleans so Disney would pay her to travel there), so I've always considered the movie hers and am torn whether to see it out of loyalty. I don't think she even receives story credit on this one. Same thing happened with her first movie, which was so heavily butchered that all that survived was her "Story By" credit.


Held up at work again on Friday and saw that Party's $30 multi zoomed to 1500+. Where most of my money has been going lately is these multis. I play a couple every day, and I felt this I'd win. If I could only register in time.

Had the laptop with me in the car and stopped every few blocks to try to pick up a wireless connection so I could register, then play a few minutes late when I got home. Hooked into an airport (I'm near Reagan National) network but it required a password. A cop car pulled up behind me and there I was in the dark, car idling, with a blue glow from the laptop screen. Along with the guilt of tapping into someone's connection. Not wanting to appear I was casing the joint or stalking an ex-wife, I scrapped it and went home.

Also missed Paradise's nightly 9 p.m. guaranteed $35K. They upped it by $5K and chopped $10 off the entry fee (now $20). Kiss the past overlays goodbye, because this tourney now offers rebuys and add-ons, bringing a frenzy similar to PokerStars' $2 buy-in multis. This is what The Gaming Club switched to, and since then they haven't had to pay out anything extra. It's only a matter of time before Empire (Party) adds a rebuy option; they cannot keep losing thousands of dollars in every multi tournament they offer. And not only do they lose in that guaranteed $50K Sunday tourney, they also put up another $5K as a freeroll for those players. So your $150+12 is buying you into two tourneys. A better deal cannot be found, yet the turnout is still under 200 people (196 for tonight's).

Watched Jim Kuhn from 2+2 cannonball up to winning the whole thing for a tidy $12K. Heads-up, pretty exciting seeing T2,000,000 being flung around. For awhile they were equal, and when Jim was slight leader he offered to chop. The other guy declined (oops -- he got the jinx) and Jim won.

Even though I'll continue to play it (it's a far better deal with the rebuy madness), what doesn't make Paradise a good deal is they take juice off the rebuys and add-ons as well -- the same 9 percent off the buy-in. They're sneaky about it, too, preferring not to state upfront that's what they're doing. In fact, nowhere in the lobby does it say they're taking any fee.

Relegated to cash games, I had a string of horrendous beats in 5/10 6max as well as multis and qualifiers. Got KK nine times and it only held up once.

I've lost most of my starting $250 at TruePoker's NL games, not including the bonus that I'm still working off. Had enough to try a SnG. $5+1 buy-in, which I won (poker bloggers they weren't). It's hard to see who's in and read the cards and play around with the slider. Because I play multiple tables (except for True, which allows only one), I need to be able to see at a glance where I stand and make a snap decision. Party's great at accommodating this. With True, I have to spend a few additional moments reorienting myself. One time I folded my BB (K3o) when everyone folded to the SB who just called. I could have at least seen the flop for free.

After the win I refocused on the other tables.

A friend's in the 200+15 quarter-million tourney. I was determined to join him and played eight 24+2 qualifiers to get there. Group 1 hands took severe beatings... I do find players in the qualifiers to be slightly worse than those in the 30+3 SnGs. Not quite as bad as 10+1, but those who'll call my AQs with Q9o and a Q on the flop (gutshooting a rivered straight). That's poker.

Tried not to let it bother me too much. There certainly wasn't as much screaming or wall-punching going on as in the cash games. If I was out, I was out. I just loaded up the next one and set to work. Particularly annoying was being knocked out in 3rd, which gets you nothing but a kick out the door. Second place gets you another qualifier, but none of those for me.

No, it took eight straight qualifiers totalling $208 before winning the entry that costs $215. I could have saved time by simply buying into the darn thing. As it is, I saved a big 7 bucks.

And then playing the quarter million tonight, I lasted almost to the second break.

Two pivotal hands, both against the same player.

The first hand I had KK. I'm chip leader with T3020. There's a T30 call and I raise T250. Person to my left calls and we're heads-up. Flop is 5 T J. I bet T250, he pauses for a long time, and then calls.

Turn is the very scary 8.

I again bet T250 and he goes all-in with T740.

An easy fold here. A flush scare, me with no K, and he could've been slowplaying a set or drawing to a straight.

But I stupidly call. He had 88 and got his set on the turn.

My mistake was not putting him all-in on the flop to force a decision if he was on a flush draw. Never thought he'd call looking for one of his two outs.

Second hand, I have JJ.

There's a call of T50, I raise to T100. Guy to my left calls, two more callers.

Flop is 5 10 8.

Checked to me, I bet T175. Guy to my left raises to T350, everyone folds to me.

I did not put him on a strong hand other than perhaps A-10. If he had a set or two pair, I would think he'd just call so he wouldn't knock out the other callers.

So I reraised him all-in.

Wouldn't you know it? His 88 took me down yet again.

I wished him good luck with my chips, hoping his 88 would take him to a win (first place which is $60K). And I did sincerely mean it. Update: he placed 72nd for a $755 payday.

The Empire $50K didn't fare much better, my AK again losing to a lesser hand. I'll have to check PokerTracker on how AK handles in the tournaments I've played. It sure seems to be taking me down more often than normal, but I know statistically it's probably right on the mark of winning more than losing.

As I'm writing this, Jim Kuhn is in the top 23 of the tourney. Yep, he didn't take the weekend off after his $12K win and hopped right back into the fray.

I'd probably do the same thing.

Update: He made 12th, for $750. What a weekend for Jim!


C'mon, Ed from Openers and Lord Geznikor (we played in the same WPT qualifier) and other bloggers -- we've gotta win one of these things already!

In all, I played a total of six big multis today, on this blustery Sunday (winter ain't over yet), with nothing to show for it but sore eyes and a crumpled bum. And despite $515 in fees, this weekend as a whole I still came out a little up. A terrific grinding Saturday in 5/10 6max (despite my KK falling in flames) let me splurge it all on fees for today. Maybe next time I'll just save it for a rainy day.

weekend lunch:
the usual junk

weekend dinner:
the usual junk

weekend grub: 250 (including snazzy overpriced cordless keyboard/mouse combo -- on order)
weekend poker: 100
Friday, March 12, 2004
Hot girl b*job entertaining: 10 cents

The Poker Hermit (nee The Daily Grind) reminds us that ChoicePoker is offering a $1000 freeroll for anyone playing 50 hands before the tourney start date this Sunday. That's hands, not raked hands.

Very easy to do. Y'all already have accounts at Choice (some of you have even played there and already qualify). Just reinstall the software, strap on the 3-D glasses, and fold 50 hands. Voila, you're qualified.

Both Mr. Smuckles and I have cashed in the past two freerolls, so you blogger tourney winners are almost assured of winning the darn thing. Don't let the 141 people signed up fool you -- this number dwindled to 30 last time, even less than those who played in the first blogger tourney. And with top 20 cashing... well, I don't have to get out the abacus to tell you the odds, do I (though it does knock down a peg my and Ray's proud cash placement in the last two).


Knowing the 2+2 tourney was last night, I ran home, ignored any abandoned rugs, ignored a full bladder, and parked myself at the laptop just before 9 p.m. Opened Empire, Party, and Paradise. Entered the Paradise nightly $30K guaranteed tourney (less than 900 players this time, and Paradise had to throw in money), a 30 NL multi at Party, and two 5/10 6max tables at Empire. It wasn't until two hours later that I realized I'd completely forgotten about the 2+2 tourney at Stars. Aggh!

And it wasn't until two hours after that that I finally visited the bathroom. Yep, the games were that good.

I busted out of Paradise early. Survived one break at Party, where I played all of three hands. The first I took the pot with AQs and a Q on the flop. The second I had K-10s, flopped JQs, and got the royal flush with an As on the turn. My fourth royal ever.

And the third hand, I played horribly. It'd been an hour since I'd had anything. I get 99 and raise preflop, am reraised, and someone else calls. In a misguided effort to get heads-up, I stupidly raise all-in. He's telling me he has something bigger, and I go over the top. Dumb move. The raiser calls and the other guy folds. Party's new update shows hole cards before now, so my embarrassment was extended when the raiser proudly fans his cowboys. Incidentally, the board gave a 2345, so the other guy probably would've taken it with a probable Ace. KK guy has me to thank for that.

Then the juicy 5/10 6max games. The usual beats and the usual fishy plays. Particularly interesting is when the fish throw in some stone-cold bluffs (I find this more prevalent at UltimateBet than anywhere else). The occasional raise here and there -- even when I'm holding nothing -- will get sometimes get them to fold, particularly heads-up or when it's a battle of the blinds.

Played with davidross at a table where I rebought three times. (Note to self: just leave the table if you have to rebuy more than twice.) I was on his left, which was a good place since I know he now always comes in for a raise and my play would have to tighten significantly. One hand I have AA. He raises, I smooth call, and the SB calls. On the innocuous flop of QJx, I raise David's bet. The other guy calls two bets cold. Turn is blank. Both check-call. The river puts out a 3flush and it's again checked to me.

I pause.

I'm not worried about David. I put him on KQ or AQ. But what could the other guy have to call a raise preflop and a raise on the flop? Is he readying a check-raise?

A big weakness of mine is not value betting the river. And if I have the nuts, not betting those either on the river (preferring instead to check-raise, at the cost of it checking through).

But so many times I've value bet, only to get check-raised. Against David, it's an easy fold (which I did do, laying down two pair when David check-raised me on the river... he later said, "Who folds like that? :)" and he said he made a boat on the turn). Against an unknown, I'd have to make the call.

This isn't the correct way to play, I know this.

But I went on instinct, feeling the guy was just itching to check-raise.

I check.

I didn't check to see what David had (he said I was holding two of his outs, so perhaps he was open-ended), but the caller made a flush and took it.

I was sorry to see AA go down again but then heartened when the fish didn't coerce another $10 and $10 out of me. But I did play that incorrectly. Not only should I have made the value bet, I should have also raised David immediately preflop to get him heads-up. But I was greedy. Who knows, though, with fish in the blind. They like to grasp onto suited cards even if the gap is as large as J-Lo's corset.

Here's a hand I thought I played well (for a change), despite a big pot swishing the opposite way.

I have KK and raise preflop and am called. Flop is AKx. I bet, am raised, I 3bet, it's capped. On the turn (no straight or flush) I check-raise. He throws in another raise! I figure I'm done for. I just check-call the river and sure enough he has AA. I think I played it as well as I could, and lost the least amount.

Could I ever fold this? I don't think so, I'd have to call down every time.

I'd gladly take many more beats like this over being outdrawn on the river.


The latest search to stumble upon Poker Grub was someone seeking a "hot girl blowjob entertaining." Hmmm... try the FCC.

We've also gotten quite a few looking for "passion of the christ satan's baby." While I can't offer any help for the former (although Satan was a woman in Mel Gibson's flick), if you're looking for answers to the latter, my take on the symbolism of Satan walking around holding his hairy baby is that he's mocking God for letting that atrocity happen to His Son.

You might've missed the part when Satan says (translated from Aramaic): "Yo, mistah God. Ah take care o' my kids."

McDonald's Egg McMuffin
McDonald's fruit 'n' yogurt parfait

Monterey's Pizza (veggie and Hawaiian -- more expensive gourmet, but much better than the chains)
sugar cookies
2 Snickers bars

4 Diet Cokes


grub: 15
poker: 100
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Had a great time at iggy's tourney. Congrats to Otis at Up for Poker for being WPBT II champion and to iggy for hosting! Otis, wash that PartyPoker jacket of iggy's before you wear it. I hear spraypainted on the inside lining is the shill signup code "IGGY."

Pauly struck the fear of Jesus into me as he amassed a huge stack on the final table and (correctly) pushed around all the shortstacks. When push came to shove and he had to show his cards, a couple times he was found to have nothing. Noted for next time, bully Pauly!

I thought I made some good plays, though I usually had something. I was chip leader early on and in the top 3 heading to the final table, but then was blinded off and could only manage to go all-in with a small offsuit King. Chris Halverson played extremely well, had 4x the chips to cover me from the BB, and unfortunately called. He paired his Queen and I was out on the bubble in 6th place.

Ooooh, just wait till the next one, bloggers!

I picked up McDonald's on the way home and ate in the car to save time. On the way up to my apartment I spotted a nice rolled-up rug in the dumpster area. Since moving my computer table, I was using a towel and a moose blanket as my carpet. Whenever my chair (also picked up from the dumpster -- no back to it, just the seat) rolled around, it bunched up the towel and moose blanket, so I figured I'd get a small rug.

Till this 6x9 baby beckoned for free. Pilfering from the trashbin is a dicey proposition. You don't know why it's being thrown out. It was taped up; I wouldn't find out until I unrolled it. There could be bugs, cat poop, a dead rodent, Jimmy Hoffa... any manner of unpleasantries. And if it didn't contain them when it was thrown out, by sitting outside however many hours it could've attracted all of the above.

I had no time for that, I just had to steal it and haul it up so I could sign up in time for the blogger tourney.

Laid down the rug, and it's too big for my workspace. Had to go under the table and lift it with Hulkean effort. One edge is still rolled up. The unrolled part contains many pieces of hair, but no bloodstains. Good enough. I immediately adopted the rug as my own and frolicked around naked on it.

For the tourney, I thought I'd have some fun and go incognito, though I mistakenly put my city as "grub manor" while playing the NL50 tables on TruePoker and didn't change it in time. grubette caught on and sat innocently by as people asked where her brother was. I was privy to some entertaining trash talk from Felicia (my "high-school writing") and others who dared to try to break up the grub clan by encouraging her to start a blog of her own.

I took the pseudonym "Frobozz" (from the Great Underground Empire, or G.U.E., in the Infocom universe... okay, so I was a Zork geek instead of a Dungeons & Dragons geek). I also picked a female avatar with big breasts so I could compare cup sizes with iggy.

Early on I get 89o in late position. Three callers to me, and I call (I didn't grab the hand history in time, so details are sketchy). The flop gives a 9 with low cards. Someone in the blinds bets with two callers. I call. The bettor says, "bunch of calling stations." Turn is blank, he bets out again. We all call. I consider raising just for that remark, but my kicker worries me. The other callers worry me. River is blank, he checks. It's checked to me.

I almost bet, thinking I'm good here, but I'm still concerned about the kicker, so I go ahead and check.

One by one the cards are revealed -- 79o, A2o (pair of 2s), another hand, and then my winning hand. A button pops up saying: "Won hand, show cards."

I pause for dramatic effect. Seems True doesn't force you to show (it probably would if you waited long enough). Whenever you look at your cards, everyone else at the table sees you looking. If I'm playing one table, I usually memorize my cards, so I never look at my cards unless I want others to see that. This time, I used it to prolong. I have some fun and make a big deal out of looking at my cards as if I was unsure I had won. And then again. Four times total. The whole act of picking up and looking at the cards, putting them down, picking them up again, and then repeated cracked me up.

So much so, that I spit McDonald's fruit 'n' yogurt parfait all over my new laptop.

I finally hit the "won hand" button and typed "oh the suspense" while wiping the screen with the towel that was replaced with the rug.

When my antics appeared only to amuse myself and not tilt the table, I soon revealed who I was and behaved the rest of the tourney.

Afterwards, I chatted on the phone with grubette (who ran down the rest of her True mad money in NL, losing to two people with KK in the same hand) and was about to go to bed, when a friend logged on and said he was playing the 1 a.m. multi at Party. I joined him, lasted a bit past the first break. Then we both played two qualifiers. All the while, I was playing enough 5/10 6max to cover all those fees plus $15.

I hadn't played Party in awhile, hoping they'd give me a comeback bonus. The multis are just too good to pass up. No overlay since they always get enough people, but the top prize amounts and dead money entered almost make up for no extra cash.

egg drop soup
chicken with mixed vegetables (no cabbage and apparently no fortune cookie either)
steamed rice
Quaker granola bar

4 Diet Cokes

rest of the Chinese
Snickers bar
4 Quaker granola bars

grub: 8
poker: -100
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
550 tickets to Paradise (not)

Oh fer crying out loud!

I'm still recovering from the trip (sleepwise), and all day yesterday I was envisioning a big fluffy pillow as I nodded off at the computer or walked to the Coke machine. But when I got home relatively early, instead of heading straight to bed, I played five hours. Never a good idea while tired and hallucinating. Paradise 3/6 5max, 5/10 5max, and True NL50 resulted in a miserable -550 showing. Worse, I was about even in the 5/10 so all the losses came from 3/6 and the NL (lost three big hands -- two with AA, the other with 99 and 955 flop... other guy had 55 and I was drawing to one out, never suspecting he had quads).

I'm not too terribly upset. Losses like this in the past have turned around pretty quickly.

But I should've just bought a dryer.

I did get a solid eight hours of sleep, so tonight I'll be prepared for iggy's Poker Blog Classic. Can't wait to see a roomful of female avatars with more big fluffy pillows!

grubette's just churnin' 'em out... here's a post from Friday:

How sick is this? The famed Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific has a new neighbor across the street, Bubba Gump Shrimp. Nothing like coming out of a tour of the ocean’s greatest gifts, starvin’ for some fried sea critters. Even sicker, Bubba’s has a smiling shrimp as its logo – wearing a hat, obvious clueless to its imminent demise.

Happy hour at the new Bubba Gump turned into happy 6 hours on Friday. Tip of the day: at a very crowded restaurant, preferably one that has a hat-wearing shellfish on its sign, occupy the largest table for hours on end while salivating customers wait outside and peer in while Monster Garage is being filmed outside. When asked to move to a smaller table (because half your party has left after a few hours), resist and moan but allow them to re-seat you. This caused us to receive two rounds of drinks “on the house” for our inconvenience. And these drinks ain’t cheap - $9.95 for a weak-ass Calypso and the same price for a draft beer of Michelob *gag* Light. While we were there, Doug and I saw some friends of ours and greeted them. They said they were on their way to Hawaiian Gardens, would we like to go? Doug promptly told the waitress it was a birthday for one of our friends and that he was shy and would surely try to deny his special day (it’s wasn’t his birthday really). So, the whole Bubba gang went over and embarrassed the heck out of him to our great amusement.

Around 11, we do go over to HI-G to meet up with our faux birthday friend. But he had given up on us after watching the Lakers game and left. I go straight to NL and see college boy there (now to be referred as “College Delinquent” since I found out his initials are “CD”). Man that kid sure plays often. Gulp I should talk. I’m seated with Cufflinks guy that I saw last week. Cool guy and a great, emotive player. At one point he puts up a picture of his son in front of his chips to deter people from raising his blind. Haha. As a bonus, I’m sitting with “Mark,” and his friend “Paymon.” They traded insults back and forth all night while buying each other drinks. One would buy two Redbull and vodkas, and the other would say, “I’ll pay you back with a blowj*b in the parking lot.” Or when one would bet causing the other to fold, he’d say, “F*cker,” and gives a wink. Loads of fun. I love this stuff. After losing about $500, Paymon makes it back up within 20 minutes, plus wins another $500.

As for me, two bad beats and $300 later:

JQ in the hole, J-Q-x on the flop. Go all in, lose to a sucker who made his straight.

Last hand, A K, go all in pre-flop. One caller, he has A-Qo. He makes a pair of Q’s.

Both times, I was apologized to. So I assume I was looking pretty forlorn.

I get up to see Doug playing NL for the first time. He flops a straight and goes all-in for $120. Two callers, each with a pair, triples him up to $360 and he’s hooked on the game.

He’s also drunk too so that went down the drain. And, at 4.30am, we both leave down.

Yesterday, two people called right in a row to see if we wanted to go play poker, one at Hustler, and the other at Normandie Club. I would have gone, but Doug has given up on poker for awhile. At least til Iggy’s tourney this week, which he was going to miss to see Passion/Christ with a right-winger. I figured it was a sign we should go play. Doug went out and bought a dryer, saying it was as if he went to play and lost, both resulting in a few hundred dollars’ loss.

It’s been a very red month, and it’s just started. I’m gonna have to win that blogger’s tourney to be even. At least, as hdouble can attest, the weather is sunny, hot, and no good for staying indoors playing cards.

Wendy's spinach chicken salad
Girl Scout cookies -- Samoas
Lay's guacamole chips

3 Diet Cokes

McDonald's Chicken McNuggets
fruit 'n' yogurt parfait (partly spit out -- see next entry)

grub: 16
poker: 15
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Bushy-eyed and bleary-tailed

I'm back from a relatively uneventful but exhausting trip to Vegas, where over Friday through last night I was only able to play 2 hours of poker. Coincidentally, that's also about how much sleep I got.

More later as I try to survive the rest of the day at work from the redeye this morning.

All is not lost, however. Here's a quick grubette post from Thursday...

Good Beat, ½ Beat and Bad Beat

I had class til 7 so I wasn’t gonna go, no way you can’t make me! But I called Doug at home and he was not. I called his cell and when he answered, I heard the unmistakable background noise of HI-G. He said he just got there, would I join him? And miss "The Apprentice," no way!

So I went. NL was calling out to me.

I had pocket 2’s. For some reason, I raised it up to $10. It was a miracle flop, 10-10-2, giving me a baby boat (a dinghy?). I bet $20, two callers. Turn was a rag, I bet and everyone folded. Took it down.

KT unsuited, but I liked it and raised $10. Miracle flop again, A-Q-J. A guy bets $20. I raise to $40 to get him to call. Turn is blank, he bets $20. I raise all-in, about $100. He calls, and has the same damn hand so it’s chop chop. Being a woman here is beneficial in that I could grab him around his shoulders and shake (which I did) and say, “Why don’t you let me win a hand?” without getting my ass kicked in the parking lot.

Q8 which I usually play, bet is $15 (nearly everyone in the pot), I call. Flop is 5 7 9 I bet $15, only one caller. Turn is a random , guy bets $20 and I go all-in about $160. He immediately calls and waits for me to flip over my cards (here, pre-river, it’s an option to turn over your cards). I flip my Queen high flush, and he flips over his K2 higher flush. River’s a . Damn him for playing suited trash. But, I feel good about how I played this hand although the $400+ pot was not pushed my way. In the same circumstance, I would’ve played the same way going all in, because I couldn’t let him draw out, had he only had the A (which is what I thought). Plus, I was on a straight flush draw. Ah well, bad beat. Earlier on $4/8, I had an Ace high flush (flopped) beaten by a full house. When I raised the surprised guy on the river, he hesitantly called, thinking I had a bigger full house. Oh c’mon, he had queens full of fours and two of his queens were pockets. I got him back on another hand by getting quad 9’s and beating his full house. Hello.

I left with $69, cashing out with a smirking chip guy who thought I stopped on that amount for a reason. Down $131.

NL is very adrenaline-addicting. And I can’t help but enjoy the attention I get on these tables too. Ladies, you could look like Pat Boone (whaa?) and still get hit on. When I sat down at the table, “Milo” pulled out my chair for me and said, “You’re sitting next to me? It must be my lucky day! Oh yea, it’s my lucky day!!” I take it he wasn’t referring to my stack of $80 in chips. I s’pose this could be a ploy for me to go easy on these fellas, but I think they mostly just enjoy mixing up the players a little.

At least I got home in time to see [spoiler: click and drag to reveal]
Ponderosa fired on "The Apprentice."

Quaker granola bar
day-old doughnut

Turkey & swiss sandwich
Keebler grasshopper cookies

5 Diet Cokes
1 Coke

Bean sprout & cucumber sandwich
Lay's potato chips

grub: 10
poker: -550
Friday, March 05, 2004
Viva Las Kabul

On Tuesday, went to see a pay-what-you-can performance of Tony Angels in America Kushner's Homebody/Kabul but it was sold out. A beautiful evening sacrificed for a 3 1/2-hour play (two intermissions) about politics in Kabul... sold out? Don't these people have something better to do? Yeah, DC's not in Kansas anymore.

By the 7:30 start time it looked as if I was going to get stood up. I called, my date didn't answer, I left a voice mail. She called back and said she was on her way, she was headed into the theater. Ten minutes later she arrived. It was 7:50.

This actually worked out, as I couldn't get tickets anyway. If I were suitably mischievous I could guilt her into thinking it was her fault and I was being gallant for not going ahead inside.

But I'm not that mean and I told the truth.

Ran into a friend who also got shunned by the box office, and she kept me company until my date arrived.

The three of us then headed to dinner at an outdoor restaurant that had seen better days foodwise and servicewise (an Asian fusion kinda place where people tend to share tapas-like dishes).

On the positive side...

But some danger, danger signs...

Last time I was at her place, I had accidentally broken her corkscrew while attempting to open a bottle of wine. I got a gift to replace it: a cute rotund ceramic waiter with his arms outstretched, holding a corkscrew. I was carrying it in a bag the whole time, and gave it to K when we parted. She loved it.

But I don't think I'll be seeing her again.

Last night, I had tickets to Bertolt Brecht's A Man's A Man. I went by myself. Sometimes it's less hassle to go solo. And if the play's not any good, you have the option of leaving at intermission. Which I did.

The nice thing about seeing theater in DC is how close-knit the community is. I tend to see people I know, and lots of hugs are exchanged.

At the Homebody theater, I also ran into a director friend (whose specialty is the absurdists and Tom Stoppard and I was a bad friend for missing her Jumpers last month even though it extended) who did get a ticket and was there solo... her live-in boyfriend (whom I know and was in one of my plays) of two years left her three months ago, something I didn't know because I'm way behind the local gossip because I stare too much at a computer screen of tiny pixels that look something like hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds.

Sometimes I think it's better to be single. Particularly where poker is concerned.

Or maybe poker is my excuse for not being in a relationship.


And speaking of which... I'm off to Vegas in a few hours!

I'm ill-prepared because of work obligations and errands that I've put off to the last second. But I shoved all of work to next week and will do my best not to think of anything but poker, Capt&Cokes, and s*** clubs beginning tomorrow.

Since my flight leaves so early and I don't want to miss it like last time, I decided to lay off just one night from the Party fishies (despite a very nice client update). I usually like to test my Vegas luck beforehand, but if I end up stuck I'll spend hours trying to get even again... even if I have to stay up all night. Let's just call tonight an even night and purchase those lucky gummy bears at the airport tomorrow a.m.

I did, however, play some 3/6 last night and didn't particularly adapt my loose-aggressive 5/10 6max ways for full ring play. Here's a fun hand to show where it paid off:

Party 3/6 (8 players)
I’m in the cutoff with K J.

UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, MP1 folds, MP2 calls, I raise, Button calls, SB folds, BB calls, MP2 calls.

Flop: (8.33 SB) 7 9 Q.
BB checks, MP2 bets, I call (bad, bad grubby... even worse, I considered raising), Button raises, BB calls, MP2 calls, I call (bad grubby, a sure fold now for just seven outs (10 and K)... but look at the pot odds!).

Turn: (8.16 BB) (7 9 Q) T.
BB checks, MP2 bets, I smooth call (hehe), Button calls, BB calls.

River: (12.16 BB) (7 9 Q T) 9.
BB checks, MP2 bets...

I consider calling here, hoping that the two callers after me would call and not fold to a raise. And in the event one of the two is just waiting to raise, I would then 3bet. I paused, decided why not, and...

I raise.

If MP2 had the boat, oh well. If he didn't, I just made the pot larger for me.

Button calls, BB calls, MP2 calls.

Final Pot: 20.16 BB

MP2 called (no boat for him!), but surprisingly the two callers after me also cold-called the raise!

Here's why:

MP2: T Q giving him a pair of Queens and 10s on the turn
Button: A 9 giving him trip 9s and top kicker on the river
BB: J 8 giving him a baby straight on the turn

I think my nut straight was hidden enough so no one could get a read on it.

I most likely would've let go of my hand if the turn didn't help. Aside from me, the worst play was the BB who didn't bother to raise the turn or the river. MP2 should definitely have let his hand go to the river raise.


Well, okay, I just had to play a few hands to check out the new Party software. Played two tables of 1/2 shorthanded (incredibly soft with rare raises) and ended up $14.

While updating the other Party skins, I found $65 in my Multipoker account. They had previously added $20 in December but then withdrew it when I didn't play the allotted hands. I didn't receive an email and wasn't aware of the added $20 until they removed it. This time, again no email but $65 transferred by "multisupport" on Feb. 13. I cashed out without playing a hand (had I known, I would've spent the 1/2 time at Multipoker). We'll see if it goes through. Even if you don't play on the Party skins, check them once in awhile... you may find they've thrown a few bucks at you to come back!

It's 4 a.m. now and my flight leaves at 8 a.m. Still haven't packed. One day I'll have the discipline to prepare for these trips.

Back Tuesday!

Popeye's shrimp basket
curly fries

4 Diet Cokes

Papa John's pizza (everything on it, picked out the olives)
3 Twix bars

grub: 40 (incl. ceramic corkscrew waiter gift for K)
poker: 14
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
grubette does Vegas

from grubette's weekend...

Vegas has this new slogan currently playing on California airwaves showing people at work falling asleep at their desk and looking zombie-like going through their day. Their slogan is, “Go home tired.” I love that slogan- it’s so appropriate. I usually need a day to recover from a weekend in Vegas, but if I have to go to work, it’s like a whole week.

Vegas is a 47 minute flight from where I am which I find absolutely amazing. My ticket was $47.60 one-way, which is equally amazing for Fri/Sun travel. Arriving in Vegas early, Doug and I met up with a realtor (oh, good god, are we really thinking of buying a place there?). Our realtor sells houses to placate his wife and kid (something about having to feed and clothe them), but his real passion is performing in a cover band. His guitar teacher was the lead singer of Slaughter. So he says, in Vegas cover band performers are paid up to $12k a night, far more than original bands. Hmm.

We looked at 8 properties for sale. Only loved one, but it had been sold 15 minutes earlier. Shoot, yet again, I’ve lost the earbud cover for my ipod.. why do they make the carpets at work so camouflaged?

Where was I? We get to Luxor and check in with an obviously overworked and underpaid clerk. Tip of the day: get a nice room in Vegas, because you may be hanging over the toilet later in the evening wishing you could vomit and it’s always nice to have a marble floor to look at and good ventilation (again, poor foreshadowing).

Played poker at Luxor. Met a guy that said he played at Commerce at a NL $5000 buy-in with Ben Affleck. Apparently, Ben told another player he liked his sunglasses and wanted to purchase them, which he did for $200. The guy takes them off and gives them to Ben, who said he just wanted to see the other player’s eyes and didn’t really want the sunglasses. Met some friends from out of town for dinner, then we all went to play craps where we all won. But, I wanted to play at Mandalay. I loooove Mandalay’s poker room. It’s intimate, has high ceilings, has wood-rimmed tables (so your chips don’t topple over), serves Starbucks™ and they have a ½ kill. For a few hours of play they give you a $5 food comp. I noticed in previous visits that everytime I go to Mandalay I get very drunk. This is because they serve top-shelf sh*t.

So yeah, I had to wait for 2 hours to get a table. In the meantime I played and lost in craps. Just $50. But my friends stayed while I went to check on my poker table. Twenty minutes later they’re down $1400 on a bad run of a pair of freakin’ dice. In front of the poker room I met Richard, who had just moved/retired to Vegas and proceeded to tell me his life story. I love this kind of reality though. I’m certain I’m coming across as being vain, but this guy wanted me bad! He was 70 and single. What’s up with me and these ol’ fellas? I’m on $4/8 and $6/12 lists, but get the $4/8 first. And the first of many, many, Stoli Vanil & ginger ales. Four drinks later, I have K7o. The flop gives me a pair of 7’s. The turn matches up my King. During this time, my friend is standing in the wings, while I’m telling him how drunk I am. Two pair, I’m betting like mad, lots of callers and a huge pot. “Don” is sitting to my right, checking out all the action. The river is ? I know it wasn’t a face card. Everyone folds but me and one other guy. I check, he bets, I call, he confidently flips up his two pair, Kings and Jacks. Damn, him two pair too? I show my cards to Don to get some sympathy.. why, Don why? Don says under his breath, “Turn your cards over.” I’m still bemoaning my loss with the cards in my hand and Don says again, “Turn your cards over, you have a full house.” Oops, the river was a 7, giving me a boat. I didn’t even see it. Of course, I could barely see my hand in front of my face at that point. I placed my cards on the table while the caller picked his up and threw them at the dealer, nearly giving her a papercut across the face. Then he starts fuming at Don, and then argues with the dealer that I mucked my hand. I fail to see how this is possible, since I was hold the cards the whole time. This was reminiscent of the last time I played and drank at Mandalay, when the camera had to be checked because the dealer screwed up and pushed my pot to another player. Grubby can vouch for me on that one because he was sitting next to me (yes, I was very drunk).

My friend and I left to find Doug, playing Blackjack. I was watching blackjack for awhile and began to notice how difficult it was to stand. Abruptly, I said, “I have to go,” and went to the bathroom. Another reason for playing at Mandalay, they have beautiful bathrooms with towel-like papertowels. I was in there awhile hoping miraculously I would become sober. But no go. Doug called me in the bathroom and I told him I was going back to Luxor. He told me to come find him but I could barely find my own ass, so I just stumbled back to the room. 4am. Hey, not too bad, I could read the clock. I hung out in front of the toilet taking in the scenery, liking how well appointed the Luxor’s suite bathrooms are. I haven’t vomited in about a decade, but I would have broken my streak to rid myself of that poisonous alcohol that night. I guess I couldn’t have been that drunk, because I counted my money before I went to bed. Habit. Up $200.

Doug gets in at 7am, spending all that time chasing a purple chip ($500). He got it.

I missed both Luxor tournaments the next day because they were sold out. I play their regular $2/4 game. I sit next to a young local guy named Chris that was personable as hell. At one point he said, “Oh the humanity!” so I asked if he played on line or read blogs, thinking he picked it up from Iggy. Nope, neither. Maybe he picked it up from Heathers, which is where I know it from.

Our friends treated us to dinner at Isis -- fan-freakin’-tastic. The food and service was top-notch. But they had a silly requirement on their menu, $40 minimum order per person. It cheapened the whole experience, especially when after we ordered our entrees and the waiter mentioned that if the minimum wasn’t met, they would charge it to us anyway, so maybe we should order another appetizer or salad. I mean, we hadn’t even finished ordering drinks or dessert, so it seemed tacky to mention this. Our friend had picked up some “2 for $45” girlie ad cards in the bathroom and wondered aloud (very loudly) what does this girl do for $45, swallow? His wife hushed him, and he quickly changed the conversation to a topic about birds, wrens and “swallows.”

Over to Mandalay again, drinks anyone? This time (second tip of the day) I called and placed my name on the list, so I didn’t have to wait. I had a terrific, loose table with a drunk, Cap’n’Diet Coke drinking guy from Al’bama, Rick, who immediately introduces himself when I sit down, David, an ex-lawyer and one old rock with bumpy arms that looked like huge boils ready to explode (no, he didn’t hit on me). Al’bama had about $500 in front of him, but he was very drunk and fishy. After 2 hours, he had no money and had to re-buy. Doug was playing also at a different table. So, how interesting is this: David was a family lawyer when he decided to dump it all and play poker for a living. Ok, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this, but Moneymaker leaving his boring accountant job, housewives, entrepreneurs or retirees becoming professional poker players are not the same thing. Exchanging changing diapers for trips on the poker circuit is totally understandable, but already having an interesting, lucrative job and dumping it for a hole in your résumé is another. David also had the for poker software implanted in his head because he knew the odds for winning instantly (to the tenth place!). Sure takes some gusto.. obviously he was successful at it, because he said his wife didn’t mind. I’m jealous, but I tire of poker and drink too much.. I could never do it. I don’t know how David and grubby can play so often!

Back to Luxor to meet up with our friends who were done after an hour of playing. They had attained that never-before-seen-to-me $1,000 baby blue chip. One for each of them. Cool. I proceeded to play until 6am, rolled into bed, woke up at 9.30am to ask about seats for the tourney but they were sold out again. I did manage to play the noon tourney, failing miserably and out 15th/45.

All in all, I lost about a hundred bucks for the whole weekend. At least I didn’t lose my cookies too. I can’t wait to go back. Grubs, have a great time this weekend.. I seriously would consider flying in for the day and meet up with ya!

bread with nuts aplenty
egg drop soup
chicken with mixed vegetables (no cabbage)
steamed rice
fortune cookie: You will have many friends when you need them... when PartyPoker's servers don't crash for a change

2 Pepsis (they need a new pluralization -- it looks like a medication)

more Chinese food
3 Quarker granola bars

grub: 1100 (incl. rent, two baby gifts, curses to Amazon for charging shipping on baby items)
poker: 125
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
The Passion of the Cards: Good Friday the 13th

An Intertops update: instead of rescheduling the Leap Year tournament for next Leap Year, they credited everyone with the 4x prize divded by the number of players... including the fee! In my account was an extra $33. So for folding two hands and waiting an hour (while watching the Oscars and losing in the Empire tourney), I was paid $33. Not bad.

Before I go into my mini-diatribe of The Passion of the Christ, here's at least some poker content. And rather than give you one of the many beats suffered (empassioned?), I sifted and found a fun hand where I came out on top. Thanks to the river. (How many times have I said that?)

Party 5/10 6max

I have T 5 in the BB.

Button limps (so you know it's a passive game), SB limps, I check.

Flop: J 5 T.

SB checks, I check (hehe), button checks.

Turn: (J 5 T) 5.

SB checks, I again check (c'mon, flush!), button checks.

River: (J 5 T 5) 9.

SB bets, I raise, button folds.

SB reraises, I cap, SB calls.

My boat is good and SB rivered a straight with Q8o.

Nice when it works out for a change. Though I played it poorly. I should have at least bet the flop, then checked the turn. If the river didn't help any, I would've won a tiny pot.


At the hairdresser (yes, hairdresser) over the weekend, Koko (yes, her name is Koko) had also seen The Passion of the Christ. She raved about it, saying she cried throughout and had to take a Tylenol when she got home. She'd see it again, it was better than Cats, etc. Any criticism levied at it and she shrugged: "That's how it really happened." End of discussion.

I didn't cry or take a Tylenol, but I did feel for the guy. How can you not when the leading character (Jesus or Jason Voorhees) undergoes torture for two hours of screen time?

This is the movie people are flocking to see? Sold-out audiences with a five-day take of $125M? More people saw the opening of The Passion of the Christ than saw the last Star Wars flick.

Though I think it's because everyone feels guilty for voting George W., I won't hazard a guess why it's doing so well (I'm equally baffled any Adam Sandler movie does well until you team him with the great Paul Thomas Anderson). Controversy sells, but Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ had just as much media criticism and bombed. Violence sells, and there's much of that. Mel Gibson's a big name with a big belief and a big mission. It's not too often a big Hollywood filmmaker wears his non-Scientology religion on his sleeve and tithes up a chunk of his personal wealth to spread the word.

The movie was released with impeccable timing. The date itself of Ash Wednesday will keep it at the top of the box office at least through Easter (as Billy Crystal said at the Oscars, "it had a Good Friday"). We're in the midst of election platforms that restirs what's "right" for the American public -- pro-life, no gay marriages, no-tolerance policies... aren't there better fish to fry?

Bono using the "f-word" on MTV (which the FCC said was okay because it was used as an adjective). Madonna tonguing Britney. Janet Jackson's right ****. Bubba the Love Sponge. Howard Stern silenced in six markets (voluntarily by Clear Channel... so afraid are they of being fined that they'd rather suffer Stern's substantial contract breach).

The FCC, the MPAA... we have systems in place to monitor and protect our children when parents are too busy to do it on their own.

And overseeing that is the all-powerful media. The media shapes what we think and feel to what they think and feel. They lash out at The Passion of the Christ because of its supposed anti-Semitism and incessant violence, yet praise the artful violence in "The Sopranos" (isn't that series offensive to Italian-Americans?) or Quentin Tarantino's latest Grand Guignol.

We're a puritanical society run by what other people say in print and on television. One nation under God and under Media. Sexuality is still taboo and embarrassing and NC-17. We have freedom of speech, just be careful what you say.

But back to The Passion of the Christ. Why are people seeing it? Maybe it's just a good movie.

I wasn't bored and I enjoyed it as much as I could enjoy two hours of some guy getting beaten to a pulp. I can't complain about the $9.50 ticket cost because I've paid more to see a fight at a hockey game.

But it's not a movie, it's a statement.

We've had statements before in movies, but usually they're not overt. Filmmakers save that for their Oscar speeches. Hidden political, religious, and sexual messages abound in a seemingly innocuous story. Look at Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz. Meanings may not have been intended, but they're there for the audience's interpretation. And that's as valid as intention.

In Braveheart, Mel Gibson essentially played a Christ figure, complete with crucifiction in the final scene.

The story of Christ is powerful as allegory. And apparently powerful (and popular) literally. I prefer stories that work with these on a subconscious level; I believe the meanings become deeper and more resonant. Seeing the Christ allegory in Cool Hand Luke or The Terminator is infinitely more enjoyable than seeing the real thing.

Gibson succeeds in portraying the final hours of Christ and his passion for our sins. It's safe to assume we know who Jesus is and what led to his capture.

But as a movie, it fails. It throws us into the third act without a reason to care and without significant character development. It might follow Scripture, but it's not a script. It's cheating to rely on prior knowledge of a character. After all, it's still a work of art and not catechism, no? (Though churches buying tickets by the thousands makes a case for the latter.)

We're bullied with unrelenting scenes of violence to one person. We get the point and get it again, then are hit over the head with it. Yes, this conveys all that Jesus went through for us and we're meant to feel this way (though he sure ain't going through the pain of watching this film for us). But too much of it and we're also beaten and cease to feel anything.

(But hey, you want controversy, I think Gibson should have gone further in the truly horrific acts that could have befallen Jesus.)

It's just too bad the movie couldn't have sacrified some of the gore time for a fuller story. We get flashes to Jesus' memories of (bland) teaching and in happier times with his mother and disciples. The movie teases us with what could have been, with the opening scene of the Devil, the demons after Judas, Satan's baby (loved this scene), and simple prolonged images such as the removed bloody crown and nails. Also a nice juxtaposition between Mary running after toddler Jesus with the scene of her running after 33-year-old Jesus -- in both cases to help him. Very moving.

Artistic license is necessary in film, and Gibson altered Pontius Pilate and his wife to be sympathetic, acting for the audience. I didn't mind this and didn't feel it anti-Semitic (a very strong claim to lay on a piece of celluoid, much less a person). I still got the message that we (as in all people) were the ones responsible, not just the Jews.

Where this falls apart for me is the Devil roaming around. Does the Devil represent the evil in Man? Then it's the Devil's fault, right? And we're not to blame after all? (And Satan's a woman, eh?)

I also had a problem with the sudden change of heart in his perpetrators. People near death or hoping their flopped set holds up may temporarily revoke their atheism and pray.

In the movie, the people who beat Jesus in such a happy frenzy should have stayed true throughout. Accepting isn't sudden but gradual. Why should a weather change, earthquake, and fallen temple after Jesus dies provoke an "oops, what did we just do?" reaction? They believe his offense is blasphemy. And it's their belief, after all. It should be as strong as Jesus' followers.

I did, however, learn a few things:

An interesting scene in real life...

In front of the hair salon (yes, I go to a salon) were abortion protestors. A line of six marchers with signs Stop Abortion and Pro-Choice (and perhaps a bit counteractive is the fact that if not for their protesting, I wouldn't have known there was an abortion clinic nearby).

Across the street from the protestors were Girl Scouts selling cookies marching with signs that said U Need Cookies.

The protestors would have a better response if they also sold Girl Scout cookies.

Wendy's mandarin chicken salad
Quaker granola bars
Otis cookies

2 Diet Cokes
Blue Hawaiian

2 orders of edamames (mmm... warm with rock salt)
shrimp shumai
Vietnamese spring rolls
chicken potstickers
mango sticky rice

grub: 50
poker: 150
Monday, March 01, 2004
Good fold, bad fold

Empire continues to be a haven for the best overlays around. Only 203 people entered (at $150+12) for the $50,000 guaranteed tourney last night. Check the math; you won't find any other site throwing this many thousands of dollars at players. The buy-in effectively becomes worth almost double.

Unfortunately, I could never get out of the gate. My first several hands went down in flames (too bad it wasn't no limit):

10-10 (out on flop when AQ fell)
JJ (undercards and 55 calling to hit his 5 on the river)
10-10 (someone made a runner flush with 7 2 (not quite The Hammer so I'm entitled to be bitter)
77 (folded to a raise on flop)
99 (out on flop when betting on a 10 and J)
KK (good fold, see below)
AQ (bad fold, see below)
88 (all-in, Aces full of 10s takes it down)

In all cases except 77 I raised preflop and bet until I ran into resistance.

A particular good fold that I was proud of came with KK. Two callers. The one in last position raised the turn (23J,4). I thought hard and folded. No flush possibility but a possible straight or two pair. I put him on a higher hand than AJ. The other caller stayed in and then bet out on the river (23J,4,5). He obviously sucked out for his straight (with A7 and only one on the flop). Checking the hand history, the raiser flopped a set of 3s and I would've been in third. It's still difficult for me to put someone on a set.

A bad fold involved AQs. I raised UTG and had two callers. The flop was 9-10-A (rainbow). I bet and was raised... with the one caller. I stayed for one more. The turn was a K and I checked. A bet and a call, and I fold, thinking I'm either dead to AK, A-10, 9-10, or A9 (again, I didn't put anyone on a set). River was 7. A bet, a call and both chopped, each holding AJo. My AQ would've been good.

And that was it for me, the Oscars outlasting the tourney despite more server trouble and a one-hour delay before beginning.


Intertops wasn't so lucky with their Leap Year tourney. It was a 10+1 limit, the prize of which was quadrupled. Only 169 entered and they ran into the same Party problems. They ended up cancelling after two hours of delays and refunded everyone's 10+1... but what about the 4x prize?

I hope they come through and award everyone another $39 or offer a freeroll to make up for the time.

If Empire had cancelled their tourney and only refunded the 150+12 without the overlay divided evenly, everyone would be up in arms. That precedent would mean a site could announce a tournament with a guaranteed overlay and if they didn't get enough people, they could simply cancel (or delay and blame on server/DOS problems). This wasn't the case with Intertops; they knew they'd be losing a few grand. But it sure was convenient.

Paradise is being particularly sneaky with their 9 p.m. nightly $30K guaranteed tourneys. Only once have I seen them not reach 1,000 entrants at $30 a pop. When it approaches the 9 p.m. start time (Paradise doesn't have an official end of registration -- seems like you can register a second before the tourney begins), they'll mysteriously delay registration by five minutes. That extra time is enough to bump past 1,000.

Party is still the place to go for multis. The number of players and amount of prizes are too good, particularly since at least a quarter of the field is dead money.

But I'd much rather play a field of 100 people than 1000 and will continue Empire-ing until they a) get enough players to cover the guarantee or b) stop the guarantees altogether (because how can they possibly enjoy losing thousands each time?).


A sad day at the tables this weekend. My increased screen resolution means I can play four tables at once with no overlap.

More tables equals more variance, and just last night I dropped almost $500 (which includes that $150+12 tourney fee). Oddly enough I feel good about this loss, because at one point I was down $1250 after playing way too loosely and maniacally. My cards streak from the tourney bled into the cash games and I overplayed what hands I got and stayed in too long with AA and KK on a threatening board.

I then cut out two of the tables, keeping the ones where I was perceived as a raise-it-up calling station. I tightened considerably and regained over half of that in three hours. Had the tables not broken up, I would've stayed longer (possibly losing more?).

I know these 5/10 6max tables can be beaten, I just wish I could start out winning and not struggle to get back to even. Tight and aggressive play wins the race.

At least I got a mouse instead of using the touchpad.

Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich
pita bread with hummus and tabouleh
2 bagels with cream cheese
potato chips

2 Diet Cokes
2 Cokes

Wendy's spinach chicken salad
chocolate chip cookies
Quaker granola bar

grub: 10
poker: -350

Powered by Blogger