Friday, September 30, 2005


Happy birthday to tampa/big cheese/mad dog, my good close personal friend. Looking forward to many more AIM sessions.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Libraries are closed on Sundays

And October 23rd, 2005 happens to fall on a Sunday, which means I have to find a real cheap internet cafe because ...

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 6388484

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Green Valley Ranch - Part II

The pressures of life and a debilitating skin rash have prevented me from posting the sequel to Part I in a more timely fashion, so refresh your memories here.

My bus journey to GVR (Green Valley Ranch) involved 3 buses (202, 110, 114) and took about 1½ hours, but the CAT system generously allowed me 2 transfers so the total fare was just $1.25. The more astute among you have already calculated that after a $100 buy-in I would not have enough for the fare home, assuming of course that I lost my initial buy-in. Well dear readers, I had no intention of losing my buy-in. I would fold TPTK (top pair top kicker) on the flop if I sensed any strength in my opponent. The stacks that I have lost by putting my faith in TPTK, if placed one on top of the other, would breach the earth's atmosphere. It was a hard lesson to learn, but learn it I did. Besides which, if I was going to spend 3 hours travelling to and from a friggin' poker game, it would be such a shame to get knocked out after only 10 minutes.

I arrived at about 10pm and promptly put my name on the list. There were two $1-$2 NL games being spread in this relatively new poker room, so I didn't have to wait very long before my name was called.

"What's the minimum buy-in?" I asked the brush, knowing full well it was $100.

"$100" he replied.

"And the maximum?" A rhetorical question to be sure, but I had to throw it in for my pride.

"$200" he retorted.

"Let's start with $100 then." Yeah, and rebuy with my remaining 75 cents if necessary.

The table was a mixture of locals and dealers and I couldn't spot the sucker. Nevertheless, I held my own, picking and choosing my battles, and after what seemed like 3 hours but actually was 8, I had built my stack to about $400. Time to go, I thought to myself.

Suddenly, the shift supervisor came running up to the table and handed out a green button to each player. The bad beat jackpot of over $277,000 had just gone off at Sunset Station (quad 5's beaten by quad jacks) and all players playing hold'em at the 6 Station properties would share the jackpot after deducting $35,000 for the quad fives and $20,000 for the quad jacks. After some tense waiting, we were informed that the prize would be split among 110 players, meaning each of us would get $2,040.

Even though I could afford a cab, I chose to walk to the 114 bus stop. For once, I wanted to prolong the journey home.

Monday, September 12, 2005

On Target

Unfortunately variance has not reared its ugly head so I am well on target to achieving another $3,000 losing month.

One Speaker, One Bracelet

Having the right connections in Vegas has landed me a cushy job providing a source of much needed extra income. And so it was that last Saturday night I was on the Strip handing out those little promotional cards when who should bump into me but Joe Speaker and Bobby Bracelet. As much as I would have liked to take off with them then and there, it was pretty close to the end of my shift, so they kindly agreed to wait. This is one job I'm taking very seriously.

It wasn't long before we were all playing $1-$2 no limit hold'em at the Aladdin. There were several interesting hands that came up, one in which Joe took down a huge pot making a great call with his ace high. Poker at its finest, to quote Mike Sexton. I couldn't have met two nicer guys and after an enjoyable session, it was time to part ways. Bobby had finagled himself a luxury player's suite at NYNY by some modest albeit effective palm greasing, Joe was staying at the Excalibur, and I slowly trudged back to the shelter with a smile on my face.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Second Annual WPBT Winter Classic

After a successful blogger's tournament in June, details of this year's winter event are starting to emerge. According to someone in the know, it is slated for December 10th at the Imperial Palace. The IP is within walking distance of the shelter so I'm psyched. There only remains the formality of raising the requisite $65 entry fee by December. I'll give it my best shot.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


I am limited to 30 minutes of internet access per day, and for this I am grateful. As a result, I find it difficult to keep abreast of all the poker blogs I subscribe to in Bloglines. One blog which has recently caught my eye, both for its visual appeal and content, is Steal The Blinds, a joint effort by Jaxia, Beck and Mike. I particularly enjoy Beck's analytical yet colorful descriptions of his adventures at the $1-$2 NL tables, which I vicariously relish most notably when I'm broke and on the rail. His latest post describes a situation which all NL players are familiar with. Please go ahead and read it if you wish to follow the rest of my post, as I have no intention of repeating it here.

I agree with Beck that an all-in reraise was warranted here, and with the gist of his analysis. There are, however, 2 statements which I disagree with. The first is nitpicking on my part, and does not alter the conclusion drawn:

"Unfortunately, the large stack turned over 7s - 8s. He had both a straight draw AND a flush draw, all rolled up in one cute little hand. He had, in other words, 15 outs, not 9. With two cards to come, that made him a favorite in the hand, not a 5-2 dog as I had surmised. His call, astonishingly enough, was perfectly correct here."

The 9s is not an out, so it should be "14 outs, not 8". He is still favorite though.

There is, however, a serious flaw in the following paragraphs:
"If we assume that one person had two pair (probably Ace-Nine, what with how three of the 6s are accounted for by our hand), that one person had an open-ended straight draw, and that another person had a flush draw, there are 18 to 19 outs (depending on whether the person with two pair is holding the 9 of spades) out against you with two cards to come. You are, in other words, a favorite to lose the hand. If someone improves on the turn, the only redraw you will have is one out to quad 6s.

Calling here gives any or all of those outs a chance to catch up. You could end the hand with the third or even fourth best hand despite being in first on the flop. As a consequence, folding here could well be the best EV play, assuming you know that no one is going to fold no matter what you do."

For the scenario outlined above, twodimes gives us the following EV's:

66 (you) 36.5%
OESD 16.1%
Flush draw 29.1%
2 pair 18.3%

Clearly the probability of our winning the hand (36.5%) is less than the probability of losing (63.5%), but we are still the favorite to win the hand (and certainly not a "favorite to lose the hand"). As such, assuming that no one is going to fold, the best EV play is not folding (as suggested by Beck above) but betting as much as we can.

Beck, I really enjoy your well thought out posts. Keep'em coming!