Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thank you!

As 2006 draws to a close, I wish to thank my loyal readership for gracing me with your presence. Hopefully 2007 will be a healthy and prosperous year for you all.

To break the monotony of soup kitchen fare, I have been known to lash out with the occasional binge at McDonald's or even Applebee's. I wish to thank my site's sponsors for making this possible.

Full Tilt Poker - For the best online poker experience

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Monday, December 25, 2006


As evidence of my loyalty to the blogging community, I attach a .jpg wherein the hammer takes down a $11 pot, of which $7 was my final uncalled bet. I'm glad that's out of the way, as it's cost me $167 in failed attempts.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Just like a blind date

I am 25 years old again and have been set up with a blind date. She sounds real nice on the phone. The day has finally arrived. I knock on her door and am greeted by one ugly duckling.

Poker equivalent :

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

WPBT 2006

Thanks to April for organizing the WPBT 2006 Winter Classic at Caesars. It was great meeting up with all the bloggers, too many to enumerate here. I had the pleasure of playing with Bobby Bracelet, Linda, Lou Krieger, Dan, Mattazuma, Jen, Joe Speaker, Pablo, Drizz and many others who will forgive me for not being able to remember them. Gary eliminated me when my QQ ran into his KK.

Congratulations to -EV for winning the event.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

2006 on track for consistent year

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, 2006 looks like yet another consistent year for my poker earnings. My current losses amount to $15,571, so I should have little difficulty breaking through the $16,000 barrier by year's end.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Pitter Patter

Iggy, a well-known acolyte and dwarf, has moved shop over to Linda. Small step for Iggy, giant leap for mankind.

Monday, November 13, 2006

More dealerese

"Traddoo," announces the same young Asian dealer at the MGM.

"Rive traddoo."

Translation : Apparently someone has posted a live straddle.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Church and State

"Thanks for praying." - Young Asian dealer at MGM Grand.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Concepts in No Limit

Concept No. 11: A big bet is the most relevant and accurate information available.

Concept No. 50: If someone bets the flop and gets two or more calls, anyone who bets a significant amount on the turn should get respect.

From No Limit Hold'em Theory and Practice by Sklansky and Miller

MGM Grand $1-$2 NL. I have about $300 in front of me and open limp from UTG with 99. Five callers comprising EP, MP, button, SB and BB. The flop is

K 9 6 rainbow

SB bets $10, BB folds. I don't find this flop particularly threatening, so I smooth call my set. EP calls, MP goes all-in for $13, and button, SB, myself and EP are the only callers. However, before I call, I make the cardinal error of asking whether I can raise. I know the rule and the answer, of course, is that since the all-in was less than one and a half times the original bet, it cannot be raised. My inattention would cost me dearly.

Turn : 5

SB checks, I check, EP and MP check, and button after a brief pause goes all-in. He has me covered and I am perplexed by the disproportionate size of the bet. I haven't seen this player before and have no read on him. SB instafolds and I cannot help but think that if not for my stupid raise question, I would be facing a much smaller and easily callable bet. Still, I call almost instantaneously, not even thinking about his hand. EP and MP fold.

River : A

He turns over 87o for the nut straight. I reach for my wallet and rebuy in disgust, lessons learned.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Poker Hall of Shame

As a public service, I list some Las Vegas poker room staff that you should try to avoid. They are guilty of being either inept, stupid or spineless, or a combination thereof.

Tiffany (dealer, Bellagio)
Andrew (floor person, Bellagio)
Charlie (brush, Bellagio)
Bryan (dealer, Green Valley Ranch)
Terry (dealer, Venetian)

More to come.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bob Lassiter RIP

Bob Lassiter passed away at 9:15am on Friday, October 13, 2006.

My deepest condolences to Mary.

Goodbye tampa, my good close personal friend.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Showing Your Hand

In a recent article in Card Player magazine, Barry Tanenbaum gives compelling reasons why you should show your hand :

• You might win.
• You might have misread your hand.
• You may get to see your opponent's hand.
• It speeds up the game.
• It's OK if people see your hand.

Had I read the article a few weeks earlier, it would have saved me a lot of anguish and a couple of hundred dollars to boot.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Where In The World?

Card Player magazine has a regular feature called Where In The World?, whereby readers are invited to send in photos of themselves in exotic settings, with an issue of the magazine prominent in the photo.

I now provide my reading public with a sneak preview of this snapshot taken during my afternoon siesta, which I recently submitted and am sure will be published in the not too distant future. Needless to say, the locale is Vegas, baby, Vegas!

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11

The morning of September 11 2001 found me in my Queens, NY apartment, 8 miles from the WTC. I was at my desk watching CNBC when the regular broadcasting was interrupted. I could see the smoke from my rooftop.

The last time I had been to the WTC was a few months earlier, when I spent a couple of days visiting a trading firm on the 55th floor of one of the towers. A few weeks prior to that, I had also passed through the building twice a day for a full year, having taken the E train to and from Wall Street.

Things won't ever be the same again.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Phil Gordon in the 9 seat

I wandered into the MGM Grand poker room late Friday afternoon and put myself on the list for $1-$2 NL. They eventually opened a new table and I found myself sitting 2 seats to the right of Phil Gordon. He was filling in some time before a James Brown concert and, true to form, kept the table entertained. When I told him I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, he proclaimed it to be his favorite city in the world, this after spending 4 years travelling in 55 different countries. Phil is a nice guy with good taste.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Angle shooting at Green Valley Ranch?

$1-$2 NL at Green Valley Ranch, Sunday 5am. I have AsAc, there are 2 others in the hand and the pot is $200.

The board is J 5 9 K 9 with no possible flush. At showdown, one player declares "jacks and fives" and shows J5. The dealer (Bryan) pushes the J and 5 forward and announces "jacks and fives". For some reason (length of session, lateness of hour, general weariness) I believe I am beaten and muck my hand face down. Another player then corrects the dealer, pointing out that the winning hand should be jacks and nines. I suddenly realize my mistake and express my displeasure to the dealer for misreading the hand, but of course it is too late. I am sure that had the dealer pushed the jack and 2 nines forward, I would have been alerted to my 2 pair. From the corner of my eye, I discern that the floor (Bruce) prefers to keep a neutral distance.

This is the price one pays for marathon sessions and I only have myself to blame. Still, I know for a fact that Bryan and the player involved are friends and cannot put out of my mind that the player may have suspected an overpair and tried an angle with his declaration, with Bryan adding the final collaborative touch. Or maybe I'm a tad paranoid?

I will be more wary in the future and avoid playing when tired. As for the $200, I'll slowly get it back by regretfully withholding future tips to the mostly professional and friendly GVR poker dealers. Shouldn't take too long.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Schadenfreude? Hardly!

High Stakes Poker on GSN continues to dominate as the leading poker television show, leaving the others way behind. The only complaint I have is that the ratio of actual content to commercial time is about 50:50. Truth be told, I'd watch it if it were 30:70.

In a recent episode, Phil Hellmuth loses his stack to Barry Greenstein after the latter flops a set of deuces. The resulting tirade by Phil, together with commentary by hosts Gabe Kaplan and AJ Benza, provide for great comic relief.

Phil : He had a fucking set. I had him on his fucking small pair. I fucking quit.

Gabe : Phil in a reflective mood here.

AJ : Barry rakes in 150 grand while Phil busts out for the second time.

Phil : I should've fucking quit.

Gabe : More self-examination.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Running Bad - Part II

Using the Sklansky-Chubukov rankings as a reference, an analysis of my hand history shows that my dry patch wasn't that dry after all. In fact it wasn't even a significant deviation from "normalcy". This can partly be explained by the relatively high weighting given to supposedly crappy hands like K7o which, somewhat counterintuitively, ranks higher than the more playable T9s and JTo.

I can only shudder to think what really running bad feels like. But thanks all the same to Huge Junk, undream2 and Drizztdj for the sympathy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Running Bad - Part I

I had the good fortune of receiving a $35 bonus from an online poker site which I recently played off at a $0.25-$0.50 NL table. Talk about being card dead, I have yet to experience such a dry run of cards in 4 hours of online play. I have the history file and will conduct a more rigorous study of the starting hands with a view to quantifying the extent of my misfortune. Needless to say, this should be viewed as an exercise in reinforcing the statistical nature of the game and nothing more.

A sample of the hands :

Qs Jc
9c Qh
4h Qs
2d 5d
9h Th
7s Qd
Jh Ts
5s Qh
Qc Jh
3s 2c
Qc Jc
5d 8s
Ah 7h
7s 8h
9h 7c
5c 7c
4d 8h
2s Qs
8s 4h
9s 6d
6c 6s
2s 2h
Kc Qh
Kh 7c
5c 8h
9s 8h
4c 3d
Qs 3s
5h 2c
9h Tc
8d Ah
Jh 6d
Kc 9s
3h Ks
4h 6c
9c 8c
Ks 3h
9d Ac
8h Ah
5s Kd
7h 2d
Ad 8s
Jh Qd
8h 5c
Td 3d
3d 6s
9d Ad
Qs 3s
7s 5c
6d 3s
4h As
7h As
9d 6c
9c Jd
Ts 6d
4c 5s
7c Qd
9c As
6c Qh
Kh 4d
3h 2d
Qc Ac
7d Kd
2c Qs
8d 8h
Td Jh
4h Th
9c 4d
4c 6h
4s 2s
7s Qc
Jd 9h
Ac 2c
9c Jc
7d As
2h Qc
9s Js
Ts 8h
4c 6s
7h 6h
Qs 3d
7h Ac
3h 4h
5s Ad
4s Jc
2h Js
6d 2d
9c Jd
5c Kc
3d Ad
Qd Kc
6c 5h
4c 2h
3c 6c
4h 6c
Ts Qc
3s As
5h As
6h 5d
Qd Ts
Jh 6d
7c Td
6c 8c
Jc 2h
Qs 3s
Qd 2h
Jd Kd
9h 5c
Jc Kc
9c 6c
Kh 7d
8c Td
6d 2c

Monday, July 10, 2006

Outclassed at the WPBT

From the moment I sat down, I knew I was dead money and even proclaimed such in a firm but subdued tone. I couldn't have drawn a tougher table :

(1) Stephan
(2) Me
(3) Blinders
(4) Jen Leo and then Mrs Head and then Dawn
(5) Empty seat and then Michael Craig
(6) Chad and then April
(7) Hoyazo
(8) F-Train
(9) Hoff
(10) Empty seat and then Human Head

I intentionally deferred my reading of Harrington on Hold'em, brand new copies of which I still have lying in my shopping cart, in lieu of a painstakingly slow study of Sklansky and Miller's new no-limit book. I have also reverted back to live NL cash games so my tournament play is very rusty. I believe I finished around 50th out of 113, much higher than I expected or deserved. Dawn cracked my A4 offsuit with her AK and received a 10-piece bed-set as my bounty.

Thanks to April for organizing everything, all those that helped her, all the speakers that volunteered their time, Caesar's for the wonderful hosting, InterPoker and Full Tilt for the extras and goodies, and finally all the remarkable bloggers that made this such an unforgettable experience.

And of course congratulations to F-Train for taking it down. Not surprising in the least.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pauly's WSOP Coverage

Just a sample of what's waiting for you at Tao of Poker. To quote Mike Sexton, "Folks, it doesn't get any better than this!"

I'm in Las Vegas for a second year in a row covering the biggest event ever in the history of poker. I want to be at the Rio everyday and tell you what I see, hear, and smell. I'm not going to sugar-coat the poker coverage and tell you how awesome it is to be at the WSOP. I'm not going to write 2,500 words on how cool it is to see Gus Hansen and Jen Harman and Annie Duke play poker. They are degenerate gamblers just like you and me. They happen to be better at it than us but that doesn't make them rockstars and Gods among peasants.

Poker is a dark and ugly entity. The media has created an aura of nebulous sanctimony and the masses are flocking to it like it's the cure for the void that they have in their sad and empty lives. I should know. I fell for it too. For most of my life I was empty and sad. Poker was the light at the end of the tunnel. I bought the bullshit like everyone else. But unlike you, I got to see behind the scenes of the poker world for the last year. I peeked behind the curtain and saw the great and powerful Oz. And he's not great, nor powerful.

Poker is an old dirty whore. Poker is a $10 crack rock. Poker is an illusion and a momentary distraction from the harsh world that we live in.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Too much parry, not enough thrust

Aikido is a form of martial art that redirects the energy of the opponent to ward off an attack, rather than blocking it. It is the approach I adopt in no limit cash games and results in trapping aggressive opponents. While this style works for me, I believe I am lying in wait too much and not going on the offensive enough.

If I could comfortably switch back and forth between these 2 modes during a session, I believe my game would be elevated to an even higher level of mediocrity.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Gambler's Book Shop

Whenever the need arises, it gives me great pleasure to go downtown and spend some time browsing at the Gambler's Book Shop. Located in a decrepit area of downtown frequented by derelicts not unlike myself, the store is a cornucopia of books, magazines, CD's and DVD's on every conceivable gambling subject.

Acquiring a copy of the much heralded and just published "No Limit Hold'em Theory and Practice" by David Sklansky and Ed Miller was the purpose of my visit.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

South Coast

Last weekend I finally visited the South Coast poker room. It is a typical Las Vegas low-limit room with a mix of locals and tourists. I played 2 sessions of $1-$2 NL and was pleased with both the results and my play.

I may put low buy-in MTT's on temporary hold while I attempt to capitalize on my recent good run in cash games.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!
This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.
Registration code: 7330476

Saturday, May 13, 2006

From tiger to pussycat

It's $1-$2 NL, I'm in the big blind with JJ, LAG in mid-position raises to $10, all fold to me and I call. I have about $100 and he has me covered.

The flop is

8 5 3 rainbow

I bet $10, LAG calls. From his previous betting behavior, I put him on AK or similar, but not an overpair.

Turn : T

I bet $20, he calls. I'm not so sure about his AK anymore.

River : 7

I push, he calls and takes down the pot with AA.

A few hands later I look down to see QQ in early position. I limp, it's raised to $10 by the button and I'm the only caller.

The flop is

6 4 2

I check, button bets $10 and I fold. I'm not risking my stack on third best overpair.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I'm enjoying moderate success in the low buy-in online MTT's. I have often wondered what live tournament players do in between tournaments - that is, those that don't play cash games. At least online, there is non-stop action.

My renewed interest in MTT's may result in participation in some online WSOP satellites over the next few weeks. I've lived in Vegas for over 3 years now, and have not yet personally witnessed a WSOP event, let alone played in one. I plan on allocating no more than $200 toward the satellites, so the chances of me finally stepping foot in the Rio are very slim indeed.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Cracked Aces

This beautiful graphic comes from here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Cost of Doing Business

The cost of sitting at a $1-$2 NL table in a Strip casino is about $10 per hour. This includes the rake, tips to dealers and cocktail waitresses and assumes that I am being dealt average cards and am playing against average players. The figure stays about the same for $2-$5 NL, so it is more cost efficient to play at that level (bankroll permitting) if one measures success in terms of big blinds per hour.

Should I wish to, I could lower my hourly nut by playing tournaments or by playing online.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Classic misplay?

The Station casinos are rewarding 50 hours of play in April and May with a $200,000 freeroll tournament. In a bid to chalk up a few hours, I found myself sitting at a $1-$2 NL table at the Green Valley Ranch. Most of the players were locals with an even balance between loose aggressives and tight passives.

With about $130 in front of me, I open limp from early position with 99. There are 5 callers including the button and the blinds. The flop comes

Q T 9 with 2 hearts

I check, player to my left bets $10, next player folds, button raises to $25 and the blinds fold. I think there's at least a 50% chance the button has me beat and I put the initial bettor on a flush draw.

I push (both my opponents have me covered), the initial bettor folds and the button calls after about 10 seconds of deliberation. He shows the nuts (KJo) and takes down the pot when I fail to improve.

Should I just have called the button's raise instead of pushing? An examination of my pot equity reveals an interesting phenomenom. If it is 2-handed between the button and myself and we assume he has the straight, my pot equity is 35%. If it is 3-handed and we assume the initial bettor is on a flush draw, my pot equity not only doesn't decrease, it actually increases to 35.5%, with the button giving up 26% equity to the flush draw. This apparent paradox is explained by Morton's Theorem. I have yet to factor in other variables such as fold equity and the probability that the button actually does have the straight.

The aim here is to maximize my winnings and I'm not so sure I did.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Another try at MTT's?

I have concentrated on live no limit cash games to date. After an interesting conversation with CJ while he was in Vegas, I have decided to look into re-entering the tournament scene. Initially it will be low buy-in stuff and will be in addition to the NL cash games.

As usual, I am enjoying great success when pitted against other opponents. However, this is all pretty much negated by my inability to conquer myself.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

8 minus 4

I was busy folding at a $1-$2 NL table at the Aladdin yesterday afternoon when from the corner of my eye I spotted none other than CJ signing up for a tournament. Sure enough he was in town en route to the charity gala at the Playboy Mansion. I had the pleasure of playing with him for a short while before we met up with Joe Speaker, Change100, Pauly, his friend Senor, and Jason Spaceman, all of whom had come to play in the 1:00pm tournament. Although he didn't place, Senor lasted the longest and then they were off to the Excalibur for some sports betting.

Surprise meetings are the best.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Zen and Retribution

I am currently reading Larry W. Phillips' Zen and the Art of Poker. On page 48 he states :

POKER RULE #34: Detach yourself emotionally from the game.

Does this mean I can't get even with that dipshit who slowrolled me? Every rule has its exception.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Local garbage at Caesar's

You would think I would have learned by now. Every once in awhile I commit the offense of making a large reraise with the second nuts.

I have As5c which makes me the nut flush on the turn. Like a lemur, I check. The river is a ten of spades making a straight flush possible with Qs. I bet $50, fucktard makes it $100, and I go all-in with my remaining $200. I call him fucktard only because he took a full five seconds to call, five seconds which made me think I had won the pot. He then sheepishly turns over the Qs to which I say "Nice hand, next time don't slowroll, pig!" The local Las Vegas poker world is small and you can be sure I will get the opportunity to slowroll him back, not to mention the constant barrage of below the radar insults I will hurl his way.

But back to the gist. What's the point of reraising in this situation if I'll only get called by a better hand? I lost my stack, got slowrolled to boot, and have thus gained the painful learning reinforcement which will keep me out of trouble till who knows when.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

They can't leave me alone

There's nothing like a $35 "welcome back" bonus to get one's feet wet again in donkeyland.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Limit hold'em against idiots

The Aladdin is having a $50,000 NLHE freeroll tournament on March 5 for those that have clocked 60 hours of play during the months of January and February. At this stage, it looks like about 120 people will qualify.

I've put in my 60 hours, most of it at the 3-6 limit hold'em tables. In retrospect, I should've stuck to 1-2 NL as generally it is less lemurish. A typical 3-6 hand :

I raise on the button with 88 and get two callers.

Flop : K 7 3       Check, check, I bet, call, call.

Turn : J            Check, check, I bet, call, call.

River : A           Bet, call, I fold.

Lemur takes down the pot with Q7o. Jackass doesn't show.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A variation of the KK quandary

I am UTG (under the gun) in a $1-$2 NL cash game with about $175 in front of me. I look down to see KK and decide to limp in. Two more limp in behind me and the button raises to $10. Small blind folds, big blind raises it to $35. The big blind is a playah who is aggressive and mixes it up. I push all-in.

All fold to the button who goes into the tank and then folds. Big blind, who has me covered, instacalls and turns over AA. I lose my stack.

Could I have played this any better?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Finally a show worth watching

I highly recommend GSN's High Stakes Poker on Monday nights, which is proving to be the best TV poker show by far. Sammy Farha, Doyle and Todd Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu, Ted Forrest and many others are featured playing in a NLHE cash game. Last night's episode will be repeated a few times during the week and is well worth seeing, if only for the final hand.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hi ho, hi ho...

Nothing much new to report. I've been selected for "house duty" for February so my playing time is limited. Once a year, every guy living at the shelter is expected to spend a month cleaning, cooking, gardening and anything else required for the common good of all the residents. Sleeping outside is dangerous and no longer an option, so it's a small price to pay for the luxury of a roof over my head.

Monday, January 30, 2006


My fellow Irish homeless ...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wages of Sin

I have the moral fiber of a used car salesman. No sooner had I outlined my SnG goals than I decided to try the $10 SnG's with only 15 buy-ins. I lost four in succession and plonked myself down in a $1-$2 NL cash game with $100 and change. After a few hands, I was crippled when my KK ran into AA leaving me with $30. I eventually got down to $14, when I tripled up with AA and continued playing till I hit $200.

Now the logical thing to do would be to go back and give the $10 SnG's another shot. But after winning $186 in a couple of hours, I find the prospect of returning to a $2 per hour grind rather unattractive and prefer the $1-$2 NL. Needless to say, this line of approach will decimate any bankroll, be it six digits or three.

Monday, January 23, 2006


I am enjoying continued success in the $5 SnG's at Full Tilt, having built my bankroll from $50 to $150 in 8 days. Surprisingly, I am still not tempted to start playing $10 SnG's, preferring to wait until I have at least 25 buy-ins. I may compromise on 20. Had I been this disciplined in the past with money management, I wouldn't be playing $5 SnG's today.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

American Woman

Years of selfless voluntary work, together with a charming and flawless personality, have finally paid dividends. I've been asked to be an official chaperone for one of the contestants in the Miss America Pageant to be held later today at the Aladdin Resort and Casino. This entails accompanying the candidate to all the pre- and post-event functions, not to mention a change in socks and underwear. So far we have hit it off pretty well despite the age and height difference. I have been giving her pointers on how best to respond to the judges' questions, and later this afternoon will critique a private rehearsal of her swimsuit presentation. Her deportment should be fine; it's mine that I'm concerned about.

Ryan's Express

From the moment Ryan eliminated me in the 2005 WPBT Winter Classic, no mean feat against a player of my caliber, I knew he was destined for greatness. I had not, however, anticipated the speed in which this greatness would materialize. Yesterday, Ryan took down first place in the opening event of the LA Poker Classic, the $300+$30 No Limit Hold'em tourney, for a $113,583 payday.

Congratulations, Ryan. You have set the bar.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sit N Go Sunday

It's no secret that I have long since abandoned Sit N Go's and MTT's in favor of cash games. Nevertheless, my good, close, personal friend Bobby has been urging me to look into the former with particular emphasis on the strategies espoused in Kill Phil. Now I am a stubborn bastard at the best of times and rarely listen to the advice of others. But somehow his repeated exhortations breached my thick skin and today I decided to play some exploratory $5 SnG's on Full Tilt, leaving the appropriation of the aforementioned book to a date in the near future.

I played 8 SnG's with the following results :

1st place - 1 time
2nd place - 1 time
3rd place - 4 times
4th place - 2 times

for a 64% ROI. Clearly this is a very small sample space, so there is plenty of room for reversion to the mean. Also this is a very low limit, so the competition is below average. The point, however, is that at all times I felt in full control of both myself and the game, and was rarely surprised by anything thrown at me. And even more interestingly, it was obvious that there were a couple of players who were playing what I can only guess to be something akin to a Kill Phil strategy - naturally they were my toughest competition and they always made the money.

I have played $100 and $200 SnG's in the past. It's a pity Kill Phil wasn't available back then. But even if it had been, the question remains whether I would have had the discipline to implement it religiously.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Have you seen this cart?

We are barely two weeks into the New Year, and already someone has stolen my shopping cart. The bastard cut through a cable lock securing the cart to the street light under which I read. More on this when I return from filing a police report.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Shuffle up and deal

I've spent about 40 hours in dealer's school, learning to shuffle and pitch cards together with the mechanics of dealing hold'em, seven card stud and omaha. The manager of a strip casino poker room has been gracious enough to let me come in and practice dealing tournaments. I've had two practice sessions to date. On my first, I was so nervous I could barely hold the deck of cards without shaking. One player sensing my discomfort said, "It's only a $40 buy-in tournament - don't be so nervous." My pitching left a lot to be desired with cards flying everywhere. I even managed to deal the cocktail waitress a hand as she was passing by.

The second session went a little better, but I was still jittery. It's amazing how difficult it is actually sitting in the box after having played so many hours on the other side. There is plenty of room for improvement, but with each practice hopefully my confidence will grow and the anxiety will subside.

Monday, January 02, 2006

2006 - off to a great start!

Yes, yes, yes! I will be sailing on a luxury poker cruise in March. I cannot divulge full details at this stage, but it will involve an online poker site, 6 WSOP bracelet holders and some of the best tournament pros all vying for a $5 million prize pool. Naturally I'm excited as hell, as this will be my first cruise as a galley hand.