Saturday, December 29, 2007

2008 - New Year, New Hope

My poker career hinges on Dan Harrington's new cash game books coming out in early 2008. Hopefully he will provide the necessary impetus to turn things around. I will be looking for fresh ideas, new strategies and, more importantly, the princely sum of $29.99 for its purchase.

The gradual decay of my bankroll during 2007 is elegantly captured in the following 3-dimensional curve:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

TOC and Toches

Congratulations to Julius_Goat and Fuel55, the winners of Write Your Way To Australia. They join 25 other bloggers to battle it out in the TOC (tonight 22:00 ET) for the $18,000 Aussie Millions prize package. Good luck to all and thanks to Al and Full Tilt.

Things were looking up both literally and figuratively yesterday when my proctologist placed a large order for message pads (see previous post).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Padding the bankroll

I have been extremely busy with my latest venture into the online marketing of low end office stationery. Initially I will concentrate on the message pad niche. Here are 2 samples of my merchandise:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Aussie Millions

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
It's taken me 3 weeks, but I've raised the $11 entry fee for tomorrow night's Mookie. I had to compromise my high moral standards and call in a few favors, but with so much on the line I didn't have a choice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I finish 17th in the Mookie after Mike_Maloney's queens crack my aces, crippling both my stack and my chances of qualifying for the Tournament of Champions. I am crestfallen.

Thursday, November 15, 2007
Not wishing to face the harsh reality of missing out on the Aussie Millions, I try hanging myself, but crash to the ground prematurely when some loose scaffolding gives way. I escape with a bruised wrist and lacerations to the neck and groin.

Friday, November 16, 2007
St. Luke's Shelter presents me with a $750 bill for damage to their infrastructure, which I promptly readdress and send to Mike_Maloney.

As there is no chance of me raising another $11 entry fee, I have to qualify via "Write Your Way to Australia".

Saturday, November 17, 2007
I awake truly inspired having dreamt of a fascinating story that will surely be a winner. I scramble around looking for a pen and some paper, but come up empty handed. By the time I find a writing pad, the dream has evanesced and is but a vague and foggy memory.

Saturday, November 24, 2007
A week passes and I have made little progress. If there ever was a time not to come down with a severe case of writer's block, this was it.

Monday, November 26, 2007
I desperately need some inspiration. The thought of watching a rerun of Crocodile Dundee crosses my mind, but I settle on calling the Australian Consulate in Los Angeles. I inquire about golfing conditions in Melbourne around January. They are not amused.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Today I finally give up on writing my way to Australia. Like any good poker player, however, I have a contingency plan.

Thursday, November 29, 2007
I am first in line when the public library opens its doors. I race over to the librarian and reserve my 30 minutes of internet access. After about 10 minutes of frantic googling, I find 3 ocean cruises leaving the West Coast in December and arriving in Melbourne before January 14th, 2008.

Friday, November 30, 2007
I call the cruise line companies, asking if they have any vacancies for crew members. "What can you do?" they ask. I tell them I can play poker and wash dishes. The first 2 companies hang up on me, but luckily the last one exhibits some interest. I make an appointment for next Tuesday at their LA office.

Monday, December 3, 2007
I trudge along the I15 trying to hitch a ride to LA. After about 20 minutes I am picked up by a Metro police cruiser and escorted out of the city boundaries. They warn me not to return but I still thank them profusely. A passing truckie takes pity on me and it is not long before we are stuck in gridlocked LA traffic. Four hours later I check in at St. Joseph's shelter where I spend the night.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I arrive at the cruise line office and impress the interviewer with my technical knowledge. There just remains the formality of a practical exam which I breeze through, washing 100 greasy plates in 7 minutes.

"We have a ship leaving tomorrow, sailing through Fiji and a couple of other islands, arriving in Melbourne on January 11th. Can you start?"

Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I am on board the Mariposa, sharing a small cabin with 15 other galley hands. Gus Hansen, watch out!

Thursday, December 6, 2007
Sea sickness takes its toll on me. On more than one occasion I have to be physically restrained from jumping overboard.

Monday, December 10, 2007
I finally start to settle into ship life. We work a 12-hour shift and then are free. I violate company policy and sneak into the casino. I play $1-$2 NLHE against the wealthy passengers and make $445 in 4 hours.

Sunday, December 16, 2007
We dock in Fiji for a 3 day stay. I finally have some money to my name and rush out to buy a pair of sunglasses and a deck of cards. I spend the afternoon sipping coffee and writing a postcard to Mike_Maloney.

Monday, December 31, 2007
I spend New Year's Eve playing $1-$2. My bankroll is now $1,430. The plan is to satellite into the Main Event and I'll need more than 1 shot. As the clock strikes midnight, I breathe a sigh of relief that we haven't hit an iceberg yet, temperate waters notwithstanding, nor encountered a rogue wave.

January 11, 2008
Port Phillip Bay at last. We dock in Melbourne and my time spent playing poker has paid dividends when I am invited to be a guest of a wealthy Florida couple who are staying at a luxury suite in the Crown Casino.

I take a shower and gaze out at the breathtaking Melbourne skyline - the Yarra River, the office buildings, the lush verdant parks, and the trams making their way down St. Kilda Road. At the behest of my hosts, Marvin and Barbara, we go down to the hotel shopping arcade in an urgent bid to purchase some minimal and acceptable clothing for myself. I end up spending most of my $1,825 bankroll on clothing and shoes, but not before Marvin promises to stake me in the Main Event.

January 12, 2008
We visit the Botanical Gardens. As I reach out to hand feed a passing swan, my $300 Italian shoes slip and I fall into the lake. It's a hot 93 degrees outside so I dry off fairly quickly. Back in the room, I once again admire the view as I await Crown's 1-hour laundry service.

January 13, 2008
The Full Tilt contingent arrives and I bump into Howard Lederer. I apologize. There is excitement in the air, with press and photographers all over the place. I watch the satellite events, content in the knowledge that I have already secured my precious entry.

I have no idea who won the blogger's Tournament of Champions as I was on the Mariposa at the time. Upon inquiring, I am told that it was Mike_Maloney who naturally is part of the Full Tilt entourage.

January 14, 2008
I am nervous as I stand in line to register for the tournament. Marvin is nearby to reassure me and keep a close eye on the $10,000 cash I clutch in my sweaty palms.

I am seated at table 27, seat 5. Eric Seidel is in seat 7. I don't recognize any of the other players. The gentleman in Seat 4 turns to me with extended hand and exclaims "Mike Maloney, pleased to meet you!" Completely surprised, I break wind. After collecting myself, I deem it prudent not to reveal my identity.

A loud "Shuffle up and deal" resounds through the tournament hall as a record 858 entrants await the opening hand. I am dealt 5c5d and limp in early position. All fold to the button who calls, as do the blinds. The flop comes

5s 4s Td

The pot is now $200, the blinds check so I lead out with a $150 bet. Everyone folds except the button, a local lad from Nunawading, who calls. The turn is


Quads!!! I shoot a pained glance at Nunawading and ask if he's made his boat. It's a wasted effort as he can't hear me, with his earphones blasting out a techno digitalized version of Waltzing Matilda. I hollywood around for another minute and then check. He checks. The river is


Hopefully the bastard's hit his flush. I can bet now so I make it $300. He raises it to $1,000. I am about to reraise him when pictures of the first hand of the 2005 WSOP between Sammy Farha and Oliver Hudson flash through my mind. What are the chances that he has 7s6s? I reraise to $3,000 and he goes all-in. I put him on pocket tens and call. He flips over 7s6s. Before the pain can sink in, TV cameras and photographers make a beeline for table 27, accompanied by shouts of "First one out! First one out!" I sit there stunned, numb and motionless, staring at the ugly board as the cameras whirl and flash.

January 27, 2008
I move to Florida, having accepted Marvin's generous offer of employment as a live-in butler, and am no longer homeless.

Mike_Maloney went on to win the Aussie Millions after an epic heads-up battle with Phil Ivey. He paid off St. Luke's and we are good friends.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Still recovering

The 2007 World Poker Blogger Tour (WPBT) Winter Classic saw scores of bloggers invade Las Vegas for a weekend of poker, drinking and contemplation. Apart from wholesale cash game donkfoolery, I played in the Friday night MGM mixed games and of course in the Main Tournament at the Venetian on Saturday which Joaquin took down. I was eliminated somewhere in the middle when my 5's were brutally cracked by Kat's 8's.

It was nice meeting up with the gang and even though I did acquaint myself with many new faces, there were those whom I didn't get the opportunity to meet. Kudos to Falstaff for the organization and thanks to everyone (too many to mention by name) for the great time.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

2007 drawing to a close

We put the Xmas tree up yesterday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ivy League November

If you've been following this blog, you may have suspected that I ended October with a zero bankroll and a conspicuous absence of backers. On October 30th I was contacted by a Harvard University statistics professor, whose specialty is time series analysis and forecasting. He had been following my monthly progress and apparently had modelled my equity curve using spectral analysis, and was using it as part of an undergraduate course he was teaching. Not wishing to interrupt the "flow of data" and knowing I was broke, he offered to put up $7,200 for November, predicting that it would last me exactly 26 days based on my previous playing patterns and table limits. In fact he calculated 7 different time series which would most likely simulate my bankroll, and was so confident in his forecasting model that he offered to let me keep any money left after 26 days.

The following chart shows his 7 likely outcomes, with my actual results in thick red. Uncanny, eh?

Monday, November 19, 2007


We give thanks to iceballgofish and all the other jackasses who, with their generous infusion of both money and mediocrity, keep the online poker economy afloat. We give thanks.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2 cents worth

Realizing that I had still not participated in any of the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments, I spent most of yesterday frantically trying to sell 50% of myself for the near approaching Mookie. I managed to convince 5 derelicts to put up the $11 entry fee and, after finishing in 17th place for an $11.20 payout, am pleased to report that they each made 2 cents profit on the deal. I could have finished much higher but for the following hand, where my aces were cracked on the river by Mike_Maloney's queens.

I lost most of my stack, but at least am consoled by the fact that the villain went on to win the event. I also enjoyed the music and guest commentary on Buddy Dank radio, despite the repeated exhortations for silence by a very agitated librarian.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bodonkey tonight

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Recognition at last

I am both humbled and honored to announce that my Violin Concerto No. 3 in D Flat will be added to the Fountains of Bellagio Music List. Those who have visited Las Vegas are familiar with the stunning nature of this unprecedented aquatic accomplishment.

Unbeknownst to many, I do have other interests apart from poker and community service, the foremost being musical composition. The opening piece of my concerto, a two-handed pizzicato, is shown below:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Clearing up the desk

Dillo thought he'd ruin my weekend by tagging me. I hereby present the rules of the game :

A). Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog...
B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself...
C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs...
D). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I have no intention of doing anyone the disservice of tagging them, but will reluctantly disclose 7 random facts about myself:

1) I suffer from randoskaphobia, a morbid fear of revealing random facts about myself.

2) I am left-handed.

3) I can pick my nose with both hands.

4) I have never used scissors, clippers or any other instrument to cut my toenails. I use my fingernails to do the job.

5) I like poppy seed cake.

6) I often repeat myself.

7) I can pick my nose with both hands.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel?

I was hoping October would be the month I finally emerge from my downward slump. Alas, it was not to be. I am currently poring over the stats to see if I can identify any areas of weakness. I am also looking for new backers.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Aristocrat Gaming - expired domain name?

One of the major players in the gaming industry is Australian based Aristocrat Gaming. I make it a habit to regularly visit their website (as I do the others) to keep abreast of any developments in the gaming world. Tonight, however, it seemed that they had let their domain name expire on 10/20/2007, as I was apparently redirected to Network Solutions' site. Or could it be related to this?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Importance of Table Selection

Please add loupoul to your donktard watchlist. Joining a table with any of these half-wits already sitting there is table selection at its finest. You will experience the occasional suckout, but when the dust settles be sure to turn up the speakers to catch the last braying sounds of their avatars as they inevitably leave the table penniless.

Full Tilt Poker Game #3864877320: Table Harwood - $0.25/$0.50 - No Limit Hold'em
Seat 1: Frogmom09 ($50)
Seat 2: loupoul ($32)
Seat 3: TheTalisman ($12.25)
Seat 4: samlucky1 ($66.05)
Seat 5: NDirish80 ($54.55)
Seat 6: MrSubliminal ($41.35)
Seat 7: SFBayPokerDcom ($53.90)
Seat 8: Meijeroen ($49.25)
Seat 9: Zuluhed ($24.55)
MrSubliminal posts the small blind of $0.25
SFBayPokerDcom posts the big blind of $0.50
The button is in seat #5
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to MrSubliminal [5d 5h]
Meijeroen folds
Zuluhed folds
Frogmom09 folds
loupoul calls $0.50
TheTalisman folds
samlucky1 folds
NDirish80 folds
MrSubliminal calls $0.25
SFBayPokerDcom checks
*** FLOP *** [Jh Td 8s]
MrSubliminal checks
SFBayPokerDcom checks
loupoul has 15 seconds left to act
loupoul checks
*** TURN *** [Jh Td 8s] [5s]
MrSubliminal checks
SFBayPokerDcom checks
loupoul bets $1.50
MrSubliminal raises to $6
SFBayPokerDcom folds
loupoul calls $4.50
*** RIVER *** [Jh Td 8s 5s] [Qc]
MrSubliminal bets $13.50
loupoul raises to $25.50, and is all in
MrSubliminal calls $12
*** SHOW DOWN ***
loupoul shows [Kh 9h] a straight, King high
MrSubliminal mucks
loupoul wins the pot ($61.50) with a straight, King high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $64.50 | Rake $3
Board: [Jh Td 8s 5s Qc]

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gin Rummy - where Stuey Ungar started off

The following is a paid review :

"In mid-1960s a Las Vegas-based Gin Rummy tournament was promoted by mailing flyers to players. The post office objected on the grounds that it was illegal to promote a "game of chance" (a lottery) through postal services. This case ended up in court. After listening to the testimony of experts that included statisticians and several prominent players, the US District Court of Las Vegas on February 23, 1965, ruled that Gin Rummy is indeed a game of skill."

(from "How to Win at Gin Rummy", Pramod Shankar, Ph.D., First Carol Publishing Edition, 1997, page 76.)

Gin Rummy is recognized as a game of skill, so much so that even PayPal is an accepted form of payment at RummyRoyal, the top site to play online Rummy games. (For the 8 US states which currently do not approve of skill-based real money tournaments, only practice mode is available. Please check with your legal jurisdiction.)

RummyRoyal brings you the first online Gin, Kalooki (Kaluki) and Traditional Rummy rooms! They offer real money ring games and tournaments as well as free games, assuring you are provided with the ultimate gaming experience.

Not familiar with a particular variation of Rummy? No problem! Comprehensive and well-designed tutorials are available to guide you through the basics of each game. Even I could pick it up.

RummyRoyal is the first and only online Rummy community where you can experience a real multiplayer online Rummy game with sessions of up to four players at a time. Join thousands of players from all over the world in exciting real money multiplayer ring games and tournaments. And don't forget to check out their promotions!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Battle of the Blogger Tournaments II

Impresario Al has certainly outdone himself with the latest Blogger Tournament setup, featuring some incredible prizes from Full Tilt. Read more about it here.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bob Lassiter

Bob Lassiter (September 30, 1945 - October 13, 2006)

A year has passed. I'll never forget you, tampa, my good, close, personal friend.

Monday, October 08, 2007


As you all know, I mainly play live poker. This is because I have no internet access at the shelter, and needless to say I don't own a PC or laptop. In fact I have maintained this blog by regularly posting from a public library, no small feat I can assure you. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the kind staff at the Sunrise Library for their support over the last few years.

So if you are a blogger and reading this, chances are high that it's not from a public library. If that's the case, I encourage you to take part in Bodog's Poker Blogger Tournament in which Bodog is adding a total of $600 in bonus money.

Date : October 9, 2007 (and each Tuesday through November 6, 2007)
Time : 8:35pm ET
Tournament Name: Online Poker Blogger Tournament
Entry Password: bodogblogger
Buy-in + fee: $10 + $1

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blogger Freeroll

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: 3936578

Monday, September 24, 2007

Profit targets in NL cash games - part I

Conventional wisdom has it that our current winnings should not be a factor when standing up from a poker session, and that we should stay at the table as long as conditions remain favorable and tiredness will not affect our play. After all, isn't poker one long session?

I will show in an upcoming post that, under certain circumstances, it is better to book a profit.

On an unrelated note, I spent a few days camping on Mount Charleston. As you can witness, the recent heavy rains have resulted in some luxuriant growth.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

1 out and the armchair theorists

Apparently Change100 made a slight error in one of the many hundreds of hands she reported at the WSOPE under severe constraints of time and pressure. Instead of 14 outs, she wrote 15 outs. This was noted in a thread on 2+2 and Change100 responded :

Excuuuuse me for saying fifteen outs not fourteen in the 30 seconds I had to write up that hand before some other dude across the room went all in.

Vanessa indeed said she was a favorite, and I believe I reported that in quotes, though I might not remember it exactly, seeing as I wrote up hundreds of hands that day.

You guys really need a new hobby. I dare any of you to try my job for one day and see how you fare. Tournament reporting is nowhere near an exact science, but we do the best we can.

Dmadmonks, a very low-limit nobody with no significant posting history other than a few inane one liners, replied with :

not our fault you suck at your job

Now such a stupid remark does not even warrant a response, but I like Change100, so I had to add my 2 cents worth :

That's why she's being paid to jet around the world covering events in Europe and Australasia (and of course the US) while you futz around at online $0.25/$0.50 Pot Limit Omaha.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The flush chaser

Live $1-$2 NLHE. A rainbow T 8 6 flop gives me the nut straight. Not feeling particularly threatened, I check the $10 pot, hoping others will bet for me. It is checked around. Turn is 8c. Seat 3 bets $10, seat 4 calls and I raise it to $50. I only get 1 caller, seat 10. The river is Kc, making a possible runner runner flush. I go all-in and lose my $200 stack to seat 10's Q3c. I put him on 3 8's at best. The flush chaser is a genial 20 something year-old tourist who is the only one at the table wearing shades. He seems pleased with his catch and thankfully no-one comments on his play.

About 20 minutes ensue and, having rebought, I have about $200 in front of me (in the 5 seat). The 3 seat is UTG and raises to $15. I call with 88, seat 7 calls as does flush chaser in seat 10. The flop is

J 4 8 rainbow

UTG makes a continuation bet of $30, I smooth call, seat 7 folds and flush chaser calls. The turn is


There are now 2 clubs on the board and the pot is about $150. UTG checks, I look at flush chaser somewhat worried, saying "Just in case you have 2 clubs, I'm betting $100", and push a stack of reds over the line. Without batting an eyelid he puts me all-in and I call for my remaining $55. The river is


Flush chaser jumps up from his seat with a loud "Yeah baby", and proudly exposes A3c. Afraid that he may have overreacted, he adds as an afterthought "Shit man, this is the second time. I'm sorry man." If there's one thing I despise it's slowrolling, so I table my 88 face-up immediately after he shows but it takes a few seconds and the rest of the table to bring him down to earth and break the bad news that his flush isn't enough.

Flush chaser remains silent for the rest of the session.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

How to screw up your image for life

On rare occasions poker brings out the best in human behavior. More often than not, it brings out the worst. I just witnessed an undignified exhibition of douchebaggery by an ex-dealer named Kyle Morris on ESPN's 2007 WSOP Main Event coverage.

After cracking Daniel Negreanu's aces with K9s, Morris acts like a 10-year-old when he jumps up and loudly asks the crowd for approval and applause. An ex-dealer should know better. In a subsequent hand, Morris rivers a flush against Negreanu's straight and by his actions and table talk, probably starts believing that he actually is a match for Daniel.

Earlier, Negreanu makes a reference to Rocky 3 as a source of inspiration, so when he is finally eliminated and leaves the table, Morris cannot hold back and lets go with "Sorry Mr. Balboa, try again next year."

One can only be left with the impression that Kyle Morris, who finished 540th for a $25k prize, is a little pipsqueak with a big chip on his shoulder.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Poker Tables at Cardroom Supply

The following is a paid review :

At the shelter we play poker on a cardboard box. I dream of the day when I'll be able to entertain my few friends on a real poker table using real chips. Judging by what Cardroom Supply has to offer, this day may not be that far off. They are one of the largest poker product dealers around, having been founded in 2003 by Lee Weber, and offer a wide range of poker accessories including Kestell and Weber poker tables, gaming chairs, Kem and Copag cards, and a variety of poker chip sets.

Cardroom Supply offers a wide selection of tables in different wood grains and colors which will match both any decor and budget, from the standard folding table to the higher end expandable tables made out of solid wood such as birch or mahogany.

They are offering free shipping on all purchases over $100, and if you purchase any table over $250 before the end of September, you will receive a 500pc 11.5 gram suited poker chip set free of charge.

If you're in the market for anything related to poker accessories, do yourself and ultimately your poker playing friends a huge favor, and check out Cardroom Supply for all your poker product needs.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What's happening?

I'm currently reading Anthony Holden's Bigger Deal, kindly sent to me by Decker. It's an entertaining read and I'm learning tidbits I never knew about the poker world. I highly recommend it.

On the philanthropic front, some local Las Vegas businessmen have taken pity on our living conditions here at the shelter and have pledged to replace our antiquated and uncomfortable bunks with some state-of-the-art stuff, pictured below.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Parents of the Year

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Walking the floor

As a much needed form of regular exercise, I will often spend 1 or 2 hours pacing up and down the floor of a large strip casino. This is usually done between the hours of 7 and 9am, 6 days a week with a rotating list of 10 different casinos. Of course it's not really about the exercise, but rather the opportunity to find lost coins, chips and any other valuables dropped by the previous night's revellers. Here is a sampling of this week's booty:

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Aces holding up

Hoyazo has had an incredible run with pocket aces, having them hold up 41 times in succession.

Btw the actual best part about my play on Sunday was the 4-for-4 I went with pocket Aces. This brings my total since I started using pokertracker to 41 wins in 41 times dealt pocket Aces. Average pot size is still over $85 won per time dealt the best starting hand in holdem. And keep in mind, this is over 13,500 hands, meaning that I should have been dealt pocket Aces my 1/221 of the time, representing 61 times I should have been dealt pocket Aces over this stretch. I have gotten them 41 times.

At first glance this seems like an outlier event. After all, if we assume (for simplicity) the aces to be 80% heads-up favorite preflop, then the probability of having them cracked at least once in 41 hands is 99.99%. But after a little thought, it becomes apparent that this run, while freakish, is not as improbable as originally stated. Do you see why?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

If it's not one thing, it's another

I've been scrambling to scrape up the $29 to renew my poetic license, which expires at the end of the month.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The lure of the big catch

I have all but abandoned MTT's, both live and online. A brand new copy of Harrington on Hold'em Vol II has been lying unread in my shopping cart for over a year. I got through Vol I fairly briskly, but that's because of its relevance to cash games. Nevertheless, the blogosphere is a supprepository of valuable information for those wishing to hone their MTT skills.

Hoy, a successful though somewhat laconic tournament player, wrote a fine post on MTT resteals. Blinders then countered with an equally fine rejoinder. As a non-interested party, I found the whole thing fascinating. Any more exposure and I may be tempted to brush the dust off HOH Vol II.

I do, however, have a minor philosophical nit to pick with one of Blinders' assumptions:

I assume that the stealer's range is ahead of the restealer's range. You don't resteal with a big hand, that would be a reraise value bet, and not a "resteal". So we can eliminate all of the big hands from the restealer, but none of the big hands from the stealer, as he could legitimately have a big hand. The stealer here has at least a top 50% of hands range.

If we can "eliminate all of the big hands from the restealer" (value bet argument), then by the same logic we should be able to eliminate all the big hands from the stealer, as this wouldn't be a steal. I therefore fail to see why "the stealer's range is ahead of the restealer's range", given that they are both really "stealing".

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

WSOP coverage

I'm about 10 miles away from all the action at the Rio and it's 1:30am. The final table of the WSOP Main Event is now down to 3 players.

The great team at is keeping me abreast of the situation. I can't thank them enough.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Diagnosis?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Existential musings

I enjoy reading the existential musings of Short-Stacked Shamus, replete with interesting material and quality writing which I highly recommend. In a recent post, Shamus discusses the new blind structure for the 2007 Main Event:

However, once WSOP officials released the structure sheets for the events, everyone learned that along with doubling the starting stacks, the blinds would start out doubled as well, rendering the change less meaningful. I don't say "meaningless" because having twice the chips does make a difference, even if the blinds have been doubled, because we are talking about a no limit tournament. For the limit tournaments, doubling the starting stacks and blinds/betting limits makes no difference whatsoever. But when we're talking NL, having twice the stack there in Level 1 will most certainly influence how (some) players will approach the start of the tournament.

What puzzles me is why Shamus differentiates between limit and no-limit. I can't see why this new structure would influence the approach of some players at the start of the tournament.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Sunday $500K

This morning I decided to use up 5,000 Full Tilt Points by playing in a SNG where the winner gets an entry into Sunday's $500K. As luck would have it, I took it down and now face the prospect of playing in my first "big" online MTT.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


lightning36 asks :

I saw your Waffles vs Chad ROI comment. Is there an explanation for the math that even a former social sciences major can understand??

We multiply each month's (1+ROI) as seen below. As a point of reference, I experienced my last positive ROI month in March, 2004 (8.35%).

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Myth of the Huge Field - Part II

Thanks to TripJax for his cogent comments. The next step is to set up a model and run some simulations, so that we can dispel this myth forever. The model is simplistic and does not take into account increasing blind structures, chip stacks or any other idiosyncrasies of a tournament. Nevertheless, I believe the results are just as valid.

I used the following assumptions :

1. For each hand on each table there is a 0.001 probability that one player will be eliminated.

2. There are 10 players per table and the tables are kept as equal as possible.

3. Play is hand for hand.

4. As per WSOP practice, 10% of the field gets paid.

5. Play is halted when the bubble is eliminated.

The results are that the expected number of hands played till the bubble is eliminated is independent of the size of the field. So cashing in a WSOP event is just as impressive if the field is 800 or 8,000. As for winning the bracelet, now that's a different story.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Myth of the Huge Field - Part I

In a recent article in Card Player, we read about an online player who finished 812th (out of a field of 8773) in the 2006 WSOP main event, or just in the money, for a prize of $15k.

Last year he plowed through nearly 8,000 players and cashed for a respectable $15,000 while taking his first shot at the coveted world championship crown.

Now I'm sure that there's no better feeling than making the money in a WSOP event. But what's this about "plowing through nearly 8,000 players"? Did he really plow through 8,000 players? Is there any significant difference between finishing 812th out of a field of 8,773 or 406th out of 4,386 players? Or 203rd out of 2,193 for that matter? How does the increasing field size translate into actual extra play?

Note that I'm talking about finishing just in the money, not making the final table.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Worst beat ever

It was the worst bad beat I have ever witnessed. Doris McFuddle, a 26-year-old lab assistant from Wichita, Kansas, busted out of the WSOP Ladies' Event when her quad queens were taken down by a royal flush. A distraught McFuddle is pictured below as she scurries from the Rio in tears.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Results not good

May started off with a modicum of promise and it looked like the long awaited breakthrough that my backers were praying for would eventuate. Alas, it was not to be. Variance kicked me in the junk once again. I really feel despondent, but my backers still have confidence in my weak tight trapping style. Can things get any worse?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

5 cases when it's OK to use the "f" word

Saturday, May 26, 2007

For a good cause

PokerStars is running the Ocean's Thirteen Darfur Charity Tournament this Sunday afternoon at 3:30pm ET.

Date: May 27th 2007, 15:30 ET
Buy-in: $10 plus rebuys.
Prizes: Top 4 receive tickets to June 5th premiere in Los Angeles plus 2 nights hotel and $2k for travel/spending. Top 18 receive autographed copy of "Oceans 13" DVD. Total prize pool will go to charity. PokerStars will match the donation.

The tournament is open to all players. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mother of all heaters

Saw this on FTP last night. I have no idea how long it took Lommasasa to win his 8 buy-ins, but it is an impressive feat nevertheless.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Poker Hall of Shame II

If you ever happen to run into Gudaehan, know that you are facing one of the biggest scumbags to ever sit at a table.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A pox on you

Matt Q has tagged me with this "Seven Random Things" meme. While I view this as a total disregard for my privacy, I will not risk possible ostracism by my fellow bloggers and proffer the following snippets :

1. fuel55 raves on and on about presto being gold. Wait till he turns presto like I did this year.

2. I haven't drunk any alcohol since 1987. I still have pangs of guilt that I declined Al's generous offer of a Soco shot at the 2005 WPBT in Vegas without explaining why.

3. Of all instruments, I learned to play the piano accordion as a kid. I would've preferred the guitar.

4. I can juggle 3 balls with one hand in my pocket. I can also juggle 3 balls with no hands in my pocket.

5. My favorite sport is soccer. A close second is Aussie rules football.

6. I have lived on 4 continents and speak 4 languages.

7. I have memorized the first 200 digits of Pi and can recite them both forwards and backwards. Also, my good memory is only surpassed by my fertile imagination.

And if you think I have the temerity to tag anyone, think again.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Set over set

In the March 28 issue of Card Player, Phil Hellmuth discusses a hand featuring set over set. In a sidebar entitled Poker Odds, presumably written by CP staff, the following is stated:

In a 10-handed game in which two players have been dealt pocket pairs, the chance of both players flopping sets is less than 0.1 percent.

I have no desire in calculating this probability and will accept their 0.1 percent. What I do find particularly funny is the redundant pre-condition of "in a 10-handed game". It doesn't matter if it's 10-handed, 5-handed or heads-up; if two players have been dealt pocket pairs, the chance of both players flopping sets is the same.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Disappointing April

After an encouraging start which had me positive for the first 3 days, I couldn't fend off a brutal onslaught of bad beats and second best hands. Despite several attempts at mounting a comeback, I finally succumbed to the fickle whims of variance, and my backers took another severe hit.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Who's the bigger donk?

I needn't remind anyone about the dangers of a paired board. But what can prove deceptively perilous is when the river card pairs the turn card. Following is a hand in which I played worse than the donkey I was up against.

Full Tilt Poker Game #2177715576: Table Antigua (6 max) - $0.25/$0.50 - No Limit Hold'em
Seat 1: jaballthehut2 ($49.75)
Seat 2: HomelessShelter ($97.40)
Seat 4: beavrliquor ($76.50)
Seat 5: k4750 ($19.45)
Seat 6: ALP-TOR ($73.65)
k4750 posts the small blind of $0.25
ALP-TOR posts the big blind of $0.50
The button is in seat #4
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to HomelessShelter [3c Kc]
jaballthehut2 calls $0.50
HomelessShelter calls $0.50
beavrliquor calls $0.50
k4750 folds
ALP-TOR checks
*** FLOP *** [3h Ks 9d]
ALP-TOR checks
jaballthehut2 bets $2.25
HomelessShelter calls $2.25
beavrliquor has 15 seconds left to act
beavrliquor folds
ALP-TOR folds
*** TURN *** [3h Ks 9d] [5d]
jaballthehut2 bets $6.75
HomelessShelter calls $6.75
*** RIVER *** [3h Ks 9d 5d] [5h]
jaballthehut2 bets $20.25
HomelessShelter calls $20.25
*** SHOW DOWN ***
jaballthehut2 shows [Kd Jc] (two pair, Kings and Fives)
HomelessShelter mucks
jaballthehut2 wins the pot ($57.75) with two pair, Kings and Fives
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $60.75 | Rake $3
Board: [3h Ks 9d 5d 5h]
Seat 1: jaballthehut2 showed [Kd Jc] and won ($57.75) with two pair, Kings and Fives
Seat 2: HomelessShelter mucked [3c Kc] - two pair, Kings and Fives

There was no point in calling the $20 river bet, since I had to give him credit for at least a king. Once the 2 fives popped up and my 2 pair were counterfeited, there was a good chance his higher kicker would come into play. As for the flop and turn betting, I believe that he thought he had the best hand throughout and I wouldn't have been able to raise him out of the hand. I still should have raised though.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My, my, you bloggers have been busy

I log into Bloglines and find I have 32,994 unread posts. I check my pulse and pinch myself. What year is it? What if each post is of Hoyazian proportions? Oh well, let's get it over with - should only take a couple of days...... Hello, what's this?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Forewarned is forearmed

The importance of making player notes cannot be overemphasized. Anything that can help me is annotated for future reference. I am meticulous and thorough, trying to encapsulate every facet of my opponent's game in a summary that will be of invaluable assistance when we next meet.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Apparel maketh the man

It looks like I'm finally getting a wardrobe together. Following on from my recent jersey win, I had the good fortune yesterday of taking down Maudie's dorky prize of a matching hat and scarf. All I need now is a decent pair of trousers and I'll be good to go for live games.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

KK quandary revisited

In a recent article in Card Player magazine, noted poker authority Bob Ciaffone writes about adjustments for playing deep-stack no-limit hold'em. Especially interesting is the following excerpt:

Do not be overconfident in building or playing second-best hands. I suggest that you be particularly leery when considering whether or not to play a suited king. The second nuts is a very expensive holding when deep in chips. You will win quite a few pots with it, but when the big dough is put into the pot with strong betting, it is seldom the third nuts that is in your opponent's hand. Of course, two kings is a far better hand than a suited king, but the same type of thinking should be applied. I have seen good players tell you in print that you should be willing to play two kings for all of your money, and if you run into two aces, you were just unlucky. I believe that to be good advice under normal circumstances; that is, when you have 100 times the big blind, or less, in your stack. For at least 200 times the big blind, the only preflop through-ticket for your entire stack is pocket aces. If you're not looking at 'em preflop, you soon will be at the end of the hand.

I could not agree more. In fact, this validates my contention in the KK Quandary, where I was in the minority.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Age of Consent

Come celebrate katitude's birthday in a donkament.

Tournament #15387473, Katitude's Poker Night
Password: martini
Date: Friday, March 30
Where: Full Tilt Poker
Time: 9:00 EST
Buyin: $10+ $1
Game: NLHE

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A new milestone

Not since July 1968, when Iron Butterfly released the monumental LP, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, featuring the 17 minute side-long track, has the entire music industry been so shaken up. I am referring to none other than this year's American Idol star, Sanjaya Malakar, whose powerhouse voice and raw talent catapults him into another league. Kudos to change100 who was quick to unearth his potential and from the outset predicted great things for him.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Feeling creative?

Then go to Mr. Picassohead and emulate the great master. Here's my pathetic attempt:

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cash is king but clothing is fine

I have yet to make the final table of any large online MTT. That is until yesterday.

I get a personalized Full Tilt Poker jersey for my efforts.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

DQB permutated

Capitalization is the difference between "I had to help my uncle Jack off a horse.." and "I had to help my uncle jack off a horse.."

Thank Waffles for killing workplace productivity.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

@#!% Chat

There's nothing like a well-timed "lol" in the chat box, from a donkey who has just sucked out on you, to put even the most cool and composed player on tilt. I therefore have a policy of turning off all player and observer chat during any game I am involved in. Obviously I make an exception for the blogger tournaments where the chat is 80% of the fun.

On a related note, cracknaces has had his FTP chat privileges revoked for 3 months. I laughed to tears when I read about it, and to him I can unequivocally say, "You're @#!%ing better off without it."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Locate the Lemur II

Go ahead and make the effort to look for these assclowns. Your bankroll will thank you for it.

TY WEBB 5150

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Locate the Lemur

It's comforting to know that there are complete morons playing online. Whenever I witness a donkey play, whether I'm in the hand or not, I make a note of the player's name, both online (player notes) and on paper. At the beginning of each session, I use the Find a Player feature to see if I can locate any of these jackasses, the aim being to get on a table with one (or more) of them. This is table selection exemplified and is very positive EV.

Following is the short list of retards that were added to my compendium this afternoon:


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Longest Bubble

I am playing in Full Tilt's $69+$6 $22K NLHE tournament. There are 446 entrants of whom 55 now remain.

It is 21:34 ET, the blinds are 400/800 with a 100 ante. I have T32,000 and am in 20th place. Top 45 get paid.

I am determined to make the money and fold virtually every hand. I even fold 99 UTG, not wanting a possible tangle with the aggressive and larger stacked big blind. I watch how I slowly drop to 21st, 23rd, 24th, 26th, 28th place.

Exactly 42 hands elapse.

It is 22:05 ET, the blinds are 800/1600 with a 200 ante. I have T15,800 and am in 33rd place, with 46 players remaining. All tables are now playing hand for hand. It is folded around to me in the small blind where I pick up AKo. The big blind has T50,000. I fold.

The bubble bursts and shortly thereafter I go out in 34th place, which pays $123.09. First pays $7,693.50.

What is the moral of this story?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I love math

Taken from actual exams :

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Who is this guy?

And what did he do to warrant a personalized avatar? Ran into the bugger in a $10+$1 NLHE MTT.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Tried getting into the first FTOPS event by playing in a $50+$5 satellite. I was doing OK with T2000 and blinds at 60/120, when I picked up AA in the small blind. There were 3 limpers so I went all-in. Big blind, who has me covered, calls and everyone else folds. He has KK and of course the board comes 228KK (may the designers of the RNG get avian flu).

Now as if this wasn't enough, stoffer1, whose avatar should be a steaming turd and who wasn't even involved in the hand, types "nh" into the chat box. What is nice about this hand? It is a suckout and his comment shows the immaturity that can only be expected of the typical retarded cretin one finds in these online events. I didn't bother venting my feelings in the chat box. stoffer1 finished in 137th place, with only 92 qualifying for a seat. That was enough for me. And if perchance stoffer1 should take down a major tourney sometime in the future, I leave this post, together with the following meta tags, as posterity for those doing any online searching.

stoffer1 stoffer asswipe poker

I feel better already.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Check or bet?