Monday, June 30, 2008

Sour –> Sweet

Of course you know how bad my day has gone with the following going on:

- 2 commutes to work this morning because I forgot to leave door unlocked for carpet people

- Fought with puppy to get in his crate, he refused, I ended up giving up and locking him in den for 30 minutes until Mom came over to be with the carpet people. He ate my blinds and shit in my floor

- Thunderstorms across the East Coast have caused havoc with my customers and have caused me grief here working on technical shit.

- Full Tilt wont’ let me cash out using a Bank Transfer or MyWebATM. 

But life has a way of evening things out when you run bad.  Just like poker, when you get dealt cooler after cooler after bad beat after bad beat, you just want to give it all up.  Then all of the sudden the light shines and you get unstuck and even make a profit.

I got called into my boss’s office for a private conference.  That’s never a good sign.  I’ve been in these types of meetings for the past 14 years of my life.  The first time, I was fired.  Every time after that I’ve gotten a raise.  Which would it be today?  Of course it was a raise.  A pretty good one too.  Why would I get fired?  I’m a model employee who never slacks off (from slacking off). 

One good thing about this job is the pay.  I am now making nearly double what I made when I started in 2000.   Too bad that the rest of the job sucks.

Last straw

This has been such a cruddy day.  After my last post, I decided to go ahead and get my money moving so I could hopefully have a decent sized bankroll on Stars and Full Tilt at the same time.  Then, when I went to Full Tilt to withdraw, it said that the Bank Transfer option was unavailable.  Not a problem, I have MyWebATM….NOPE!  Same problem.

If any of Full Tilt’s reps are reading this, you have broken the camel’s back.  My last cashout took exactly 31 days for a simple bank wire.  You randomly shut down people’s accounts, accuse them of fraud, and then proceed to shut down all communication with the defendents until you have proven them guilty.  Your software looks like some kind of bad Cartoon network show without doing some serious modification to the program.  Your Ironman program is retarded.  Why would you reward someone that plays more days in a row better than someone that just plays more hands?

Face it, Full Tilt, Pokerstars is kicking your ass right now in all aspects.  And that’s where my business goes for a while.

I won a little bit of money on the poker tables this weekend, but really didn’t get to play as much as I had hoped.

Friday night, we went to the Princeton Devil Rays game to watch some more Tim Beckham.  He hasn’t impressed me yet and I still think they should have drafted Buster Posey.  There were 2 rain delays during the game, so it wasn’t over until 11:30 p.m. or so.  Then I ended up just going by a friend’s house afterwards and hanging out with them.  I didn’t get home until after 2:00 a.m.

I did play some poker on Saturday though.  My mother had to go out of town for a wedding shower.  My Dad was working.  Most of my friends were working.  And the weather was off and on rain.  I decided to grind a bit.  I played some cash games and nothing seemed to go right.  I then decided to run some tournaments.  Again…nothing.

I finally gave up after a little while.  I went to the store to get some groceries and clear my head.  Then when I got back, I decided to fire up some Stars and just play some $4.40x180’s on there.  I failed in the first couple to get anything going, but I kept trying.  Finally, I was able to break through and final table one.  I busted out in 4th though.

While I was playing the tournament though, I decided to fire up a $10 NLHE table.  I didn’t have enough left in my Stars account to cover a $25NL table.   Before I even hit the final table, I had recooped all of my losses from the ring games earlier.  I decided to quit the cash game while I played the final table though.

Overall the day was pretty break-even from the cash side, but from the tournament standpoint, I did fairly well.  I actually have a small Stars bankroll now.  3 figures and such.  The NL games (at least the $10NL) seem to be so much softer than the matching counterparts on Full tilt.  I might start playing more ring games on there.  The rakeback does help, but doesn’t really add all that much to my winrate when you think about it.  Just some quick calculations in my head suggest maybe 1BB/100.  That’s great and all, but if I can add 2 BB/100 just by playing on a softer site, why not go with the softer site?

I think what I’ll do is to play solely on Stars in July.  I dont’ really have a sufficient bankroll for $25NL right now, but I can go ahead and begin the slow process of moving some of my money from Full Tilt over to Stars.  I’d really like to go with a 50/50 split of my bankroll between the 2 sites, but that’s going to be kind of hard.  I have 50% of my bankroll collecting interest right now in an ING account.  So for the short term, the best I can do is a 50/25/25 split between ING/Stars/Full Tilt.

I’m not really dogging Full Tilt’s games though.  I mean we are talking about Micro limits here, not the $300/600 games.  However, there are many times where I’ll have 16 Full Tilt tables pulled up for Datamining and only see 6 TAGS on 90% of the tables.  I’m sure these are just rakeback whores and such.  Some are actually good players, some suck.  I don’t fear any of them, but I would be rather sitting at a table full of fish padding my bankroll.

I’m not banking on Stars games being any better.  I do whoever, KNOW that Stars > Full Tilt or any other site on the Planet.  The software is much nicer, more streamlined.  It’s way less of a resource hog on my PC and I can actually run it along with Pokertracker 3 without having to reboot every hour or so. (By the way, I got my new RAM and Hard drive today).

I also like fact that Stars rewards me for my volume of play, not just how many days in a row I can play.  I’ll never be a Supernova Elite or anything, but I’m sure I can make good use of the VIP program they have. 

Morning from hell

Well, it’s a fuckin Monday alright.

This has been the morning from hell.  It all started innocently enough.  I got out of bed after a decent night’s sleep (for me).  Let the pup out while I got showered and ready for work.  I was even early getting ready and proud of myself.  I was going to be at work on time.

I let the puppy back in to play with him for a little bit before I left.  Then something happened.  Puppy decided to be an asshole.  He refused to go in his crate.  No matter how hard I tried, he wouldn’t go.  I have a backup plan for these types of instances.  I’ll just put him in the downstairs bathroom.  Tile floor, fairly small, and I have him a bed and food/water set up down there.  He refused to go in there too!  I wasted 30 God damned minutes dealing with this dog and really had lost my cool by now.

The good news is that my mother would be showing up in about 30 more minutes.  I am having carpet installed today and she had to let the carpet people in.  I finally gave up and locked him in the den downstairs.  There’s not a lot he can get into down there. WRONG!

I get a call from my Mom right at 8:00.  I’m still on the way to the office, but not there yet because of the damn dog making me late.  I had forgot to leave a key for my Mother to get in.  Fucking Christ!  It was pouring the rain, I was already pissed off, damn near empty on gas, and about 48 minutes into my 50 minute commute.

I got into the office, told them I had to go back home.  I pumped some gas, and started another 50 minute commute back home.  My mother had already fell asleep in her vehicle waiting on me.  When I got home, I looked through the sliding glass door where the puppy was.  He had chewed up my vertical blinds!  Not just a little bit either.  Fucking destroyed.  Also, he shit in the floor.

I’m at my wits end with the puppy.  He was doing so good for so long.  But now, it’s like he wants to butt heads with me.  I’ve read so much about doing the positive re-enforcement with the dogs, but I think I’ve failed to establish that I’m the leader of the pack along the way.  I’m not real sure why either.  So far, I figure the puppy has cost me over $1000 with the shit he’s chewed up.

I’m not going to get rid of him or anything.  I love the dog and the company he gives me.  But I have to get him trained or he’s going to tear up everything I own.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Will you be my poker pal?

In an effort to avoid work today, I’ve spent 75% of my workday browsing the 2+2 forums.  Not the BBV, BVD, OOT, NVG, R2D2 forums that suck in the masses, but the actual strategy forums.  And also for the first time, I’ve actually read they psychology forum.

I’ve tried to “stalk” a few of the more successful players and their posts and such.  One common thing I see that most of the successful poker players have are “poker friends”.  These are people that play similar stakes and understand the game.  These are people they can learn from and also teach at the same time.

I’m a horrible guitar player, but it’s something I do for fun.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is that learning to play guitar with a friend is way greater than learning to play on your own.  The entire learning process is much easier and both parties involved usually learn something.

When I sit down at the poker tables, I’m alone.  I have no poker friends.  Sure I have buddies I play home games with and such, but I don’t have any real life friends that understand the game.  They like poker and like donking it up on a weekend while knocking back a few beers, but in now way are they serious about learning the game.  I’m not going to push it on them or anything either. 

I had one buddy I got into the game a couple years ago.  He actually learned about bankroll management and read my Small Stakes Hold ‘Em book.  I got him on course to building a bankroll through bonus whoring.  Then he just pretty much gave up after the bonuses dried up.  He never really expressed any interest in taking it any further and I’m not going to push it on people.

So I’m in search of a poker pal.  Someone I can either stake and teach the basics or preferably someone that is already playing and needs a poker pal themselves.  Just someone to swap bad beat stories with or even better discuss actual tough hands and how the best way to play them.

Will you be my friend?

Going deep, but fizzing out

She was a real life Jerry Springer episode gyrating on my lap and spilling Grey Goose all over my Ecco shoes.

--Dr. Pauly

First things first.  Go Al!  I love when hippies prosper and do what they love.  It breeds good work.  Look at Pauly or just look at my iTunes playlists.  Hippies make good reading and good listening.  And since these are my blogging/poker brethren, I pull for them to prosper even more.

I think I jinxed myself yesterday with spilling the details of my good fortunes on and off the tables lately.  I had a tough night last night.  I didn’t play all that well though to be honest.  I just couldn’t get into that rhythm I had been in lately.

It seemed like I was stacking chumps left and right last night, but it also seemed like I was getting stacked off a lot myself.  And as all you poker players know, the bad stretches always seem to stick out more in your mind than the good stretches.  So when the smoke cleared and I finally checked my PT3 results, I was expecting all my monthly profits to be gone.  Fortunately, all I had lost was 1 buyin.

I had a lot more poker left in me, but the puppy thought otherwise.  He was on tilt from being ignored for a couple hours and decided to start getting into mischief.  I had to take a break and play with him for a while.

After the play session with the pup, I was ready to play some more.  Before I hopped back into the cash games, I decided to check the tournaments.  I nearly bought into the Stud/8 MSOP event on Full Tilt, but the field was too big and while I thoroughly enjoy Stud/8, I don’t feel like I have an edge over any remotely competent player.  So I opted to buy into a $5.50 NLHE tourney and a $4.40/180 on Stars.

The Stars tournament didn’t go so well.  I had an ill-timed bluff early against an apparent monster to lose the first 3rd of my chips.  From there I nursed a short stack down to about 44th place.

In the Full Tilt tourney, I doubled up early, but then went card dead pretty much until the 2nd break.  I kept alive with some steals, a few small pots, etc.  Then I finally hit a big hand when my KK > TT.  Then again, my KK > TT.  Now I have chips to work with.  As we approached the bubble, I played to win while the rest of my table to played to cash.  This saw my chipstack swell considerably.  Then I got KK again and got it all in against…. you guessed it… TT and won for the 3rd straight time and a huge chip lead.  We cashed, I continued my aggression, and continued to keep my chiplead from like 27 people down to 12.

There was a guy to my left that played a 29/2 game and was really causing me problems during the latter stages and he seemed to out-flop me on every hand.  Then I finally picked up Aces in early position (possibly UTG).  I did the normal raise, 29/2 guy re-popped me all in (he was 3rd in chips I think).  I insta-call and he flips over…. deuces.  Of course, deuce on the flop and I’m crippled.  I win that hand, and there’s nobody with even 1/3 of my chipstack.  But that’s not how it played out.

I did make the final table, but with only about 5BBs left.  I finally pushed with pocket 8’s and got called by Aces.  His aces held up.  IGHN in 9th place.  I only netted a little under a buyin for my efforts.  237 runners, 9th place…seemed like I deserved more.  I really wanted the $300+ first place prize though and my 3rd MTT victory of the year.

MTTs are a good distraction from grinding and a good way to luckbox into a nice score, but they just aren’t for me.  I find it incredibly frustrating to bust chumps for 3 straight hours, take 1 bad beat and maybe get a few bucks for your efforts.

I used to be horrible at MTTs.  My strategy was pretty much the same as a full ring game cash game.  This would work if you were catching cards, but not if you go card dead.  I constantly found myself having to fold my way past the bubble and then hope to catch a couple miracle double ups to go deeper.  These days, I have loosened up a bit, upped the aggression, and have been able to build good sized chipstacks…especially around the bubble.  These guys fold EVERYTHING on the bubble.  Occasionally, you’ll find a decent player and he will either get there before you or be on your left and come over the top.  But I’m playing $3-$5 tourneys here, so those players are few and far between.

I have about $35 left in my Pokerstars account.  I have been donking around the PL Omaha and some $10NL tables with that money in my downtimes at work.  I have also played several $4.40’s with zero results so far.  I think I’m just going to take the rest of that money and run a bunch of $4.40/180’s with it.  That will give me my MTT fix.


Tonight, I will probably be around grinding out some hands, but I also plan on going to the ballgame first.  Tim Beckham made his debut for the P-Rays last night.   I listened to the game on the radio, but tonight I’ll be there in person to see the #1 pick in MLB play.  It’s also Jonny Gomes bobble-head night, so…BONUS!

My uncle is having a cookout/party type deal on Sunday at one of the local lakes.  I was excited to go, but then I heard there were going to be upwards of 100 people at this shindig and now I’m not looking forward to it so much.  I’m all for family and shit, but when you bring in 80-90 other people I don’t know, then it’s just not for me.  I’ll probably skip out on that event and play in the MSOP HORSE tournament instead.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

PC Repair

My poor PC has been having a rough time lately.  I built the thing in the summer of 2006, so it’s got a little age on it.  However, it’s still a 3.0 Ghz Pentium D with 2 GB RAM, and hasn’t been bloated down with a bunch of junk, so something is up.

I have done all I can think of software wise, short of re-installing.  However, the random lockups and overall flaky-ness seem to point to more of a hardware issue than a windows issue.  I’m guessing RAM. 

Since RAM is so cheap, I got 4 GB from newegg just now.  I also bought a 500 GB USB hard drive for backup purposes.  I want to be able to back up my poker tracker databases, some documents, photos, etc.  But most of all, I have a TON of televsion shows on my PC that I’ve DVR’d, Bit Torrrented, or whatever over the past couple years.  These things take up a ton of hard drive space and burning them all to DVD is just way too time consuming for me right now. 

I was going to upgrade to Vista, but I’m not sure now.  I really like XP and while I haven’t had any major issues with Vista at work, it’s kind of quirky and treats me like a retard, so I don’t like it.  I’ll probably stick with XP for now.

I’m hoping the new RAM does the trick.  If not, then I’ll be restoring Windows soon.  I’m assuming Mac owners don’t have to deal with these issues.

F Real Life in the A

Well, I thought an extended session was coming on last night.  However, my mother informed me otherwise.  My cousin from the Coast Guard was in town and we were having a cook out.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play some Cornhole.

I had a pretty good time and the puppy went with me so he got to play with all kinds of new people and a couple other dogs.  This equals a wore out puppy when we get home at night which allows me to play poker while he rests.

I was proud of myself because I made time to play poker.  It was getting late, but I really really wanted to play.  So I skipped out on watching the tail end of a couple baseball games in favor of poker. 

I played very well with the exception of 1 hand.  Other than that, it was smooth sailing just like the last couple days have been in poker.  I feel so confident at the tables these days and it rocks.  I don’t seem to be getting smacked with the deck or anything.  I’m just being more aggressive and contesting flops that are less likely to hit my opponents range.

I was going through my stats for the month after my session and I have only been dealt Aces 3 times this entire month.  They have won all 3 times, but only stole the blinds.  I have only been dealt Kings 3 times and they are my biggest loser for the month.  Only because I got it all in pre-flop twice and lost both times.  Once to Ac5c and once to AJo.  The other 3 times, I took the blinds.

So it’s not like I’m running good or anything.  It’s more like things are clicking and the gears are running smoothly.  I feel like a well oiled machine on the tables and it’s fantastic.  I can’t wait to get back and play some more.  I’ll probably play a little bit more tonight, but I feel a marathon session coming on this weekend.  I might pull and all-nighter Friday or Saturday if nothing is going on.

Now, I leave you with this decision.  What do YOU do in this hand?  Villain is 21/5/1.54 over 584 hands.


Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

CO: $32.30 (129.2 bb)
BTN: $10.80 (43.2 bb)
SB: $25.10 (100.4 bb)
Predator314 (BB): $34.75 (139 bb)
UTG: $54.95 (219.8 bb)
MP: $7.90 (31.6 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is BB with Q of diamonds Q of hearts
4 folds, SB raises to $0.75, Predator314 raises to $2.25, SB calls $1.50

Flop: ($4.50) J of diamonds J of spades T of spades (2 players)
SB bets $22.85 and is all-in, Predator314 has no fucking clue what to do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

$100K in 31 days

After WCGRider’s fail at making $10K in a month at $25NL, Leatherass over at Stoxpoker is most likely stepping that up and saying he can win $100,000 in 31 days at $2/4NL.  When you do the math, that’s a more do-able bet.  WCG needed to win 40,000 BBs whereas Leatherass only needs to win 25,000 BBs.

I’m excited for this bet to go down.  Not because I want action or anything, but because these types of bets give me motivation to grind. 

You can check out the monster thread on 2+2 here:

Tonight I grind!

The only poker I’ve played the past 2 days was yesterday at lunch, I got in about 100 hands at $10NL on Stars just donking around.  I tripled up in those few hands and everything seemed like child’s play compared to what I have been playing.  I just randomly selected an open table on Stars and it was like the Good Ol’ Party Poker days.  I wonder what their $25NL tables are like these days?  I have been playing mostly on Full Tilt.

Monday night, I went to a softball game and didn’t play any poker that night.  Last night, I went to watch the Princeton Devil Rays play an exciting game and actually win.  I got excited when I saw Danville’s coach was Paul Runge.  I love sub-par 80’s baseball players.  A couple years ago I got to chat with Darryl Evans and he signed my hat.  How cool am I?  I have met some good players as well though.  I’ve met Phil Niekro, Cal Ripken Jr and Sr., Glen Hubbard (he belongs in the sub-par category), and probably some more that I’ve forgotten about over the years.  I’ve also watched Carl Crawford, Rick Ankiel, Jonny Gomes, Josh Hamilton, and probably a lot more without realizing it.  Minor League baseball is the nuts.

Anyway, back to poker, I’ve been really itching to hit the virtual felt lately.  I feel an extended session coming on tonight too.  I’m going to skip out on the baseball game tonight (I’ll be watching though) and opt for a night in with the puppy, some No Limit Hold ‘Em, and just some alone time.  I’ve been a social butterfly this week and that’s just not acceptable!

I figure I have about 1 week of $25NL left in me before I move on to the $50NL waters.  I’ll have about 25-30 buyins to play with depending on how well I do these last few thousand hands go and how much rakeback I end up with when all said and done.

My winrate is not what you would call phenomenal at the $25NL level as it is < 4 PTBB/100.  However, I have a pretty large downswing in the middle there… a little over 16 buyins.  If you can play 20K hands, sustain a 16 buyin downswing, and still post a 3+ PTBB/100 winrate, I’d say it’s time to move on.  No real reason wasting another 20K hands at this level unless I have to retreat from the $50NL games.

Poker for a living

One of the most frustrating things about poker is actually finding time to play.  I’ve pretty much turned poker from a hobby into a semi-profession, then back into a hobby again over the years.  These days poker is more like a video game for me.  However, I struggle to find time to play.

I really thought the lack of a television would help me play countless hands over the course of the summer months.  Unfortunately, all it did is give me more of an urge to venture outdoors.  I’ve been choosing baseball and softball games over sitting on my ass playing poker.  That’s a good thing for socializing and just overall health, but it doesn’t help the bankroll.

As bad as I hate to sound like a typical poker idiot, I still would like to play this game for a living.  I’m getting to a point in my life where that window to allow me to do so is closing.  Actually, I cracked open the window a bit more this year when I dropped the hammer on most of my debts.  But I’m not getting any younger.

The problem is that I have not proved myself a winner in poker.  I could make a decent wage just playing $1/2 NL if I was a moderate winner at the stakes.  I wouldn’t be a balla or anything like that, but I’d be pulling in more income than what I pull now.

It's a little known secret that I hate my line of work.  I knew as soon as I slid off my cap and gown after college graduation that I made a mistake.  I've pursued other lines of work and even had other offers, but I've passed because I knew a new job would not make me any happier.  I longed for freedom.

When I sit down and think about life and my future, I get nothing but a cloud of smoke to come out of my ears.  I don't know what I want out of life.  I'm 30 years old.  Other 30 somethings around me are settling down, getting married, having kids.  2 years ago, I'd have taken a bullet to the brain over that lifestyle.  Now... it looks like a viable option.  This means the window is closing.

Oh how sweet it would be to walk into work one day (fuck that $4/gallon gas means I'd be calling into work) and tell the boss to suck it.  However, that's just a pipe dream right now.  A figment of my imagination.  Next week, I might not have the urge to play poker ever again...but in my experience, the urge is always there... it's just that real life and my job always get 1st priority.

So, this poker journey is a quest of my will and determination to make something better of my life.  I have no problems working on my game.  I love becoming a better poker player.  2008 Predator314 could crush 2004 Predator314 on the tables.  However, 2008 version is playing in tougher games.

I need a gameplan if I would like to make this my career.  It's not like I can drop everything this instant and start grinding out mortgage payments.  I don't have the bankroll to properly grind the stakes I want to play.  I also haven't proven myself to be much of a winner lately, but that is changing.  I'm playing poker on a whole new level lately and the results are finally showing.   The micros seem like child's play when I sit down.  I'm more patient, pay more attention, and less prone to auto-pilot syndrome.  Now I just need to keep improving and become a solid winner.

I'm playing $25NL right now.  In a few short hands, I'll be moving to $50NL.  After that, it's $100NL, then $200NL.  3 short stops between now and where I would like to be to start my new hypothetical career.  It's not like I can just have $8000 in my bankroll and say "Hey I got 20 buyins for $1/2, let's do it!".  I need some sort of cushion to fall back on.  I'd prefer having 2 years worth of salary to fall back on.   Realistically, I could get by with 1 when you factor in rakeback, savings on gasoline, etc.  I live in smalltown, WV and frankly, it's just not expensive to live here.  You make $50K/year and you are doing well.  I shoot for $100K of course.

So the gameplan right now is just to grind it out.  Get my hands in and keep learning.  If I keep doing these things, the bankroll will follow.  It has before and I'm a much better player now than I was then.  I need to quit trying to find time for poker and instead make time for it.  If I want to do this bad enough, I will make time.

The whole point of this post is that poker could be my way out.  I’m not sure poker is the answer to all my problems or anything like that and I do realize what kind of grind that poker can be.  However, when you compare that grind with my current grind, it doesn’t look so bad.  If I had 2 years of expense money to fall back on, I know I could play good poker and enjoy life for at least 2 years anyway.   During these 2 years, I would have the freedom to figure out what I want to do with my life.

Another pipe dream post from Predator314 :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Last night, I opted to take the puppy out to the softball field to watch my friends play in a tournament.  My friends won their game and the puppy had fun and wore himself out for the evening, so all in all it was a success.  I didn’t play a single hand of poker though.

Tonight, I’m going back out to watch a baseball game.  The P-Rays are playing the Danville Braves.  I’m a big Braves fan, but I’ll still be rooting on the local team.  I’m kinda bummed about the P-Rays because I thought Tim Beckham was coming.  It looks now like he will skip rookie ball and go straight to A ball.  I guess commanding a $6 million signing bonus you can also command a no-rookie league clause in your contract.

There’s not much else going on in my world lately.  I’ve kind of fell into a rut in life lately.  I think I might have found a way out….restoring old friendships and what-not.  Maybe more on that later, maybe not.

Monday, June 23, 2008


A lot has happened since my last blog real blog post.  If I didn’t have this crappy job, I' probably wouldn’t have a blog.  I was on vacation last week, hence the lack of posting throughout the week.  However, there were several occurences during the week that I want to touch on a bit:

Tiger Woods: Broke leg, torn ACL? No match for Tiger Woods as he clearly didn’t have it at Torrey Pines.  However, when Tiger doesn’t have it, he’s still better than the rest of the field.  This man is who your kids should seek as a role model.  He leaves it all out there on the course.  His work ethic is 2nd to none.  Sure he gets mad after an errant shot…especially when his body is preventing him from making a good swing.  But if you notice, it leaves it all behind him before taking his next swing.  Tiger Woods would be the Phil Ivey of poker if he played.

George Carlin: I normally don’t get sad at the passing of celebrities.  They aren’t special.  But Carlin’s passing depressed me.  He took comedy to another level.  His ability to take the dumb shit we do on a daily basis and turn it into comedy was awesome.  For my money, you can’t get any better than Carlin and I just wish I had a chance to see him live when he was alive.

Poker: I played about 1/2 the hands that I intended to play last week.  This really wasn’t my fault though (I don’t think).  I got sick towards the end of the week and even though I wanted to play, I opted to rest instead.  I’m more stoked about poker now than I have been the prior months.  I cant’ explain these waves of motivation that go through my head, but I’m not going to complain.

My bankroll is back over the $1000 mark.  I have only played about 13,000 of my 20,000 hands at the $25NL tables though.  Hopefully I’ll finish up those last 7,000 hands or so in the next week or 2.  My confidence at the tables is so high now though.  It makes all the difference in the world when you expect to win every time you sit down.

I worked really hard on my game, plugging leaks, but mostly re-learning how to deal with the new rash of TAGs at the micro limits.  These players are the only real problems you have to deal with at the micro levels.  Most are decent pre-flop, but horrible post-flop.  I have been playing around a 20/16 style lately and this has worked out fairly well on the 6 max tables.  One thing these TAGs do not do is mix it up a bit.  They are usually playing a few tables and evidently not paying attention to what’s going on with all of them.  After a few orbits, you can put these guys on hand ranges fairly easily and then look at the board texture.  Is this a flop I will challenge?  Who cares if it missed me…all I know is that it missed his range completely and I’m taking that money in the middle. 

As you can see, I’m taking my thinking to a 2nd level.  I’m still playing pretty straight forward poker, but with some thought.  Instead of raising, missing the flop, c-betting and check/folding the turn, I’m mixing things up.  I’m putting my opponents on ranges and thinking about how that range fits in with the board texture.  Standard poker, but you’d be surpised how many people who think they are good don’t do these simple things.

I can’t wait to get past these next 7K hands and move out of the kiddie pool.  I also can’t wait for my bankroll to swell to 5 digits, but I’m sure that’s a little ways away.


I’m back from vacation and back to the grind.  Vacation was OK.  The highlight was definitely fishing with my Dad.  The low-light was me getting a stomach bug.

I didn’t get anything accomplished chore wise during the week other than cleaning up the truck.  I had several other plans for later in the week, but they got scratched in favor of bed and relaxation.

I did manage to play about 5000 hands during the week.  Not quite what I had planned on doing, but better than nothing.  The good news is that I ran pretty well and actually made money.  Does it count as running hot when you put your money in ahead and your hands actually hold up?

I spent a good deal of time playing tournaments too.  No big scores, but I did make several final tables including a 2nd place finish in a limit HORSE tourney.  That’s the first time I can recall getting 2nd in a MTT.  I can’t recall a single time I got heads up and didn’t finish the job (Single Table SnG’s not included).

The good news coming from my vacation time is that I didn’t burn myself out on poker and I now have confidence in my game.  I feel like I can sit in a MTT and go deep or sit down in a cash down and double up fairly easily.  More on this as I get more time to post.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Let the vacationing begin!

I have 35 minutes before running out this door and shutting this office completely out of my brain for a week.  I had to frantically work today to get everything done that needed to be done so I can get out of here today.  That’s the reason I haven’t posted until now.

I don’t really have anything on the agenda tonight other than not working.  I think I might put in a marathon poker session or run a few MTTs.  I’m not really sure yet and haven’t talked to anyone today to see what all is going on.

I downloaded the commercial release of Pokertracker 3 last night and toyed around with it for a while.  It’s much better than the beta I had tried out sometime ago.  However, it’s a big time resource hog.  The first time I ran it, my computer vomited on me.  After a reboot, it did OK.  I played around with the HUD most and added stats I like/use and got it looking all pretty on the 6 max tables.   I think the HUD layout design part of the software is much easier to work with than regular PAHUD.

After playing around with PT3, I thought I’d play some poker.  It was getting late, but I played about an hour.  The only real hand of note was me getting it all in with 2 overcards and the nut flush draw against top pair and getting there.  I won about 1 buyin for the night, but only played for a little bit.

I’m kind of scramble brained right now and can’t really focus on writing this post.  So I’ll just end the post here.  I’m going home in a bit and relaxing.  I’ll probably post a couple times over the vacation, who knows.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

NIT City

Yesterday was pretty frustrating for me on the tables.  I was cruising along and up a couple of buyins before losing a huge pot when I flopped a set of tens against AA on an all diamond board.
pokenum -h ad ac - th ts -- td 3d 6d
Holdem Hi: 990 enumerated boards containing Td 6d 3d
cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV
Ac Ad 337 34.04 653 65.96 0 0.00 0.340
Ts Th 653 65.96 337 34.04 0 0.00 0.660

I’ll spare you the hand history on that one.  I can’t complain about getting my money in as a 2:1 favorite.

Everything kind of snowballed after that and when I finally gave up, I was dead even on the day. 

The games are so dry right now.  I’ll datamine 16 tables at a time on FT and maybe only 4 will have 2 fish or more.  The rest are filled with rakeback nits and TAGs.   Since I’m trying to improve my game, I don’t mind sitting with TAGs at these micro levels.  They are pretty good pre-flop, but for the most terrible post flop.  I have been trying to stay out of the pre-flop wars with them and outplay them post flop. 

When you play against TAGs, you gotta mix it up a bit.  Raising pre-flop, throwing out a c-bet, then check folding the turn will get you into trouble with a semi-thinking player, so you have to throw a changeup every now and again to keep them honest:




Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players

Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

SB: $24.40 (97.6 bb)

BB: $25.10 (100.4 bb)

Predator314 (UTG): $39 (156 bb)

MP: $63.75 (255 bb)

CO: $62.15 (248.6 bb)

BTN: $25 (100 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is UTG with K of diamonds A of hearts

Predator314 raises to $0.85, MP calls $0.85, CO calls $0.85, 3 folds

Flop: ($2.90) 4 of diamonds 2 of diamonds 6 of spades (3 players)

Predator314 checks, MP checks, CO bets $1.75, Predator314 raises to $6.50, MP folds, CO calls $4.75

Turn: ($15.90) J of spades (2 players)

Predator314 bets $11, CO folds



I think I’ll change things up a bit this evening.  I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for poker as I have several real life chores that need done.  However, when I do sit down, I think I’ll play in a tourney or 2 and then keep 2 ring games open at the same time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Why am I so motivated to play poker these days? I’m not really sure to be honest.  I guess because I’ve been looking for something to do all the time and that something to do is right in front of my nose.  I think part of the reason is that I’ve put no pressure on myself to make X amount of dollars so I can afford Y lifestyle like I did back in the Party Poker days.  Poker is just a pastime right now.  It’s fun.

The most major motivational factor, however, is when I admitted to myself and the World that I am no longer a winning poker player.  You see, I hate to lose...   at anything! Back in my baseball playing days, I wasn’t there to look pretty for my parents in my little league uniform, I was there to beat the other team.  I’ve always loved competition.  When my teammates didn’t seem to care if we won or lost, I’d lose my cool with them.  You can play to win and have fun at the same time.  I don’t know about you, but I have much more fun when I win. 

Back in the Little League days, I was always picked for the All-Star teams from the age of about 8 up until I was 15, I made all-stars every year.  I was a good hitter, decent fielder, slow runner, and had a weak arm.  Far from a 5 tool player.  One time I asked the All-star coach (not my normal coach) why he picked me over the other person when the other person was much faster and could hit just as good.  I’ll never forget his answer: “I picked you because you care if we win or lose and you want to win.”  That little conversation only re-enforced this behavior in me and I’ve had it as long as I can remember.

I got even fatter as time wore on and my baseball skills just weren’t needed at the college levels (or beyond).  I was just a fat kid with a desire to win.  So I moved on to shooting pool.  It was fun even though I sucked.  My friends were good because they had been playing for a couple years.  I hated the fact that they beat me day in and day out.  My best friend Roger was the king dick at the local pool hall.  He would win 9 out of every 10 tournaments they ran.  He was awesome.  We would play ring games (pool’s equivalent of a cash poker game) and he would dominate those and take our lunch money.  Ok, this was a fun game and all..the comradery was great, but I’ll be God Damned if I was going to let even my best friend beat me like a red-headed step child.  So I spent every single day in the pool hall smacking balls around.  I remember running my first rack of 8 ball and 9 ball.  I remember winning my first tournament and being so nervous that I wasn’t even aware that I won (not against Roger).  I remember beating my best friend Roger in the finals for the 1st time.   I remember winning the “Neutral Corner Championship” 2 years in a row.  2nd place: my best friend Roger.  The pool hall owner dubbed him the title “Roger Runner-Up”. 

Once I reached a certain level in pool, I got to a point where I didn’t care if I got any better.  You see pool halls, much like poker rooms are filled with angle shooters and hustlers (probably worse).  You can’t compete with a chemical player either.  Cocaine was the drug of choice amongst my competitors.  I had a well known pro tell me that with an 8 ball of coke, he could spot God the 8 in a race to 10.  Thankfully, I never took that route.  I like to win, but not at all costs.  Once I got tired of the pool halls and all the scum that go along with them, I started focusing more on Poker.

Poker was different from all the other games I’ve played in my life.  I just kinda learned in the pool halls how to play.  I taught myself in my spare time how to play better and when I turned my focus to the game for real, I was already a winning player.  It was easy money!

Then something happened, I wasn’t winning at poker anymore.  All of the sudden, I’m 17 again and at the end of my baseball career or I’m 20 again and trying to compete with a bunch of low-life coke heads on a pool table.  Should I give up and move on to something new?  Fuck no! I haven’t beat this game yet.

Mother nature played tricks with me yesterday.  All day long it was sunshine and heat…my favorite kind of weather.  I was all pumped up throughout the entire day to be able to go home and take the dog out to the softball field and watch a couple games while getting him some socialization skills in the process.  Around 4:58 p.m. I heard thunder.  Half-way home, I had to hit the wipers.  However, when I got home, the sun was back out and it was blazing hot again.  10 minutes later, the bottom dropped out.  At least my newly planted flowers that have been struggling from the heat the past few days liked it.  Smoltzie and I on the other hand weren’t so enthused.  Maybe this evening.

Instead of playing outside with the pup, we played inside.  I tried working on some basic training things like “Sit” (which I’m pretty sure he gets fairly well) and “Stay” (hah!).  I tried wearing the pup out so he would be ready for bed when I was, but he was full of energy yesterday.  His new thing is running laps through the house.  Full speed, he’ll run down the hall, then back around the coffee table and then hesitate for a sec.  Then he repeats the process.  It’s pretty entertaining to watch, but didn’t wear him out like I had hoped it would.

Once playtime was over, I was able to sit down for some poker.  I had been datamining the Full Tilt tables all day long.  With my playing partner by my side, we fired up a few tables.


One thing I noticed right away was the lack of good tables.  Every table I had been datamining were full of 20/18’s and such.  Where are all the loose/passives lately?

I only played about an hour and had a winning session (only about 1 buyin).  There weren’t really many interesting hands to speak about.  I had one nasty 2 outer kill my decent day, but other than that it was a blah session.  Here are the couple interesting hands:


Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

UTG: $17.05 (68.2 bb)
MP: $56.85 (227.4 bb)
CO: $50.60 (202.4 bb)
Predator314 (BTN): $25 (100 bb)
SB: $33.85 (135.4 bb)
BB: $182 (728 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is BTN with 4 of hearts 4 of diamonds
3 folds, Predator314 raises to $0.85, SB calls $0.75, BB raises to $3.40, Predator314 calls $2.55, SB folds

Flop: ($7.65) T of spades 4 of spades 7 of clubs (2 players)
BB bets $5.75, Predator314 raises to $21.60 and is all-in, BB calls $15.85

Turn: ($50.85) 2 of hearts (2 players, 1 is all-in)
River: ($50.85) 2 of clubs (2 players, 1 is all-in)



Fairly standard hand I think.  BB was a TAG and was 7.5 buyins deep.  I had been pounding his blind mercelessly up to this point.  The only reason I post this hand is because of Hand #2


Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

BB: $17.05 (68.2 bb)
UTG: $56.85 (227.4 bb)
MP: $50.60 (202.4 bb)
Predator314 (CO): $48.35 (193.4 bb)
BTN: $33 (132 bb)
SB: $157 (628 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is CO with J of spades A of spades
2 folds, Predator314 raises to $0.85, BTN folds, SB raises to $2.80, BB folds, Predator314 calls $1.95

Flop: ($5.85) A of diamonds 6 of diamonds 6 of clubs (2 players)
SB bets $5.85, Predator314 calls $5.85

Turn: ($17.55) K of hearts (2 players)
SB checks, Predator314 bets $12, SB raises to $148.35 and is all-in, Predator314 folds

This hand was the very next hand after Hand #1.  Normally I don’t call re-raises with AJs, but this guy had just lost a big pot and I have been piledriving his blind prior to that.  I can only assume he’s got AA, KK, or AK here.


Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 5 Players
Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

Predator314 (CO): $32 (128 bb)
BTN: $25 (100 bb)
SB: $26.70 (106.8 bb)
BB: $39.80 (159.2 bb)
MP: $8 (32 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is CO with 6 of spades 7 of spades
MP calls $0.25, Predator314 calls $0.25, BTN folds, SB raises to $1, 2 folds, Predator314 calls $0.75

Flop: ($2.50) 3 of spades 5 of diamonds 3 of clubs (2 players)
SB bets $1.25, Predator314 calls $1.25

Turn: ($5) 8 of hearts (2 players)
SB bets $1.50, Predator314 calls $1.50

River: ($8) 2 of clubs (2 players)
SB bets $1.75, Predator314 raises to $11, SB folds


This hand was my favorite of the session.  Not because I pulled off a river bluff and it worked, but because I had a decent read on the villain.  I had just made a note about his betting/bluffing bets and how he liked to bluff-bet small.  I had planned to take the pot away from him on the turn with a raise, but he bet so small and I had so many outs that I just called and made my play on the river.  This hand reminded me of why I need to keep out of auto-pilot mode.



In other news, I got my new laptop cable in yesterday, so I can start playing on the laptop again.  I’m going to buy me a decent outdoor table/chair setup so I can play poker outside the house.  I could really get some serious hands in if I wasn’t confined to my small office (have yet to set up the big office also).

Lastly, this post was written with Windows Live Writer.  I just installed the program and directly out of the box, it worked.  Wow…that’s something new for a MS product.  I really dig it so far.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I played a late session yesterday after we went out to eat for my father's birthday. Our plans got shifted around due to some bad planning on our part. My parents picked me up at my house after I got off work. We headed towards Pipestem to my favorite BBQ restaurant. The last time I went to this place, I had Flounder which was decnet, but who the fuck orders fish at a BBQ joint?

"I'm eating pig tonight!" I stated on the ride over to my parents. My mouth was watering thinking about digging into a big plate of pulled swine. Then we got there and CLOSED! Booo! Not a problem, I thought. We can have steak. The restaurant next door is a gourmet steak house and the best in the area. It's a little more expensive, but well worth the extra price. We pulled in to the lot and ... CLOSED! Boo again! Finally, we gave up and ate at a Mexican restaurant. I had something I couldn't pronounce. It was grilled chicken smothered in some sort of salsa that was really the perfect spicyness and cheese. They had another variation that had peppers and zucchini as well, but I opted to skip on the veggies. The dish was FANTASTIC and put this restaurant on my favorites list. This was only the 2nd time I've ever been to the place, but I will be back much more.

After eating, I went back home. I got my new puppy toy in the mail yesterday. I got him one of those Kong toys that are practically indestructible and you can fill them with treats. Boy did he love that thing. I put a milk bone inside of it and he played forever trying to get that milk bone out. I'm using the toy as a training aid to help him with his crate and separation anxiety. I'm going to make Kong his "Special" toy and he only gets that when he's in the crate. Hopefully this will occupy him for a while when I sneak out so he won't be fussy/whiney every time I leave.

After playing with the dog for a bit, I fired up Full Tilt and started data-mining a bit while I watched a Stoxpoker video. When the video was over, it was getting close to bed-time, but I wanted to play some hands. I played about 400 hands and had an up and down session. I was winning for a while, then it seemed like someone hit the doomswitch for about 10 minutes and then I grinded back up to where my loss was only $10 :)

Here are some interesting hands from my session though:


Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 5 Players
Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

Predator314 (BTN): $55.40 (221.6 bb)
SB: $14.75 (59 bb)
BB: $28.25 (113 bb)
MP: $35 (140 bb)
CO: $192.90 (771.6 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is BTN with Qc Qh
MP raises to $0.85, CO folds, Predator314 raises to $3, 2 folds, MP calls $2.15

Flop: ($6.35) 9h 4h Js (2 players)
MP bets $4, Predator314 raises to $12, MP calls $8

Turn: ($30.35) 3h (2 players)
MP bets $12, Predator314 raises to $40.40 and is all-in, MP calls $8 and is all-in

River: ($70.35) 2d (2 players, 2 are all-in)



I probably could have gotten away from this hand. However, I was over-analyzed it and forgot I was playing $25NL. I'm not sure, I had so much invested in the pot and he only had another $8 behind, so the hand really had me thinking.


Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

SB: $25.50 (102 bb)
Predator314 (BB): $29.60 (118.4 bb)
UTG: $61.25 (245 bb)
MP: $20.70 (82.8 bb)
CO: $25 (100 bb)
BTN: $36.65 (146.6 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is BB with 5d 5h
CO posts BB out of position, UTG folds, MP calls $0.25, CO checks, BTN calls $0.25, SB completes, Predator314 checks

Flop: ($1.25) 7d Qc 5c (5 players)
SB bets $0.50, Predator314 raises to $2, MP folds, CO folds, BTN folds, SB calls $1.50

Turn: ($5.25) Qh (2 players)
SB checks, Predator314 checks

River: ($5.25) Td (2 players)
SB bets $23.25 and is all-in, Predator314 calls $23.25


Silly coolers. I don't know if I'd ever be good enough not to go broke in a set vs. set situation...especially in an un-raised pot.


Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 5 Players
Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

Predator314 (BB): $25 (100 bb)
MP: $15.35 (61.4 bb)
CO: $26.30 (105.2 bb)
BTN: $73.90 (295.6 bb)
SB: $186.85 (747.4 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is BB with Kh Ac
MP raises to $0.50, 2 folds, SB calls $0.40, Predator314 raises to $2.50, MP calls $2, SB calls $2

Flop: ($7.50) 9d 3c 3d (3 players)
SB checks, Predator314 bets $4.50, MP calls $4.50, SB folds

Turn: ($16.50) Jd (2 players)
Predator314 checks, MP checks

River: ($16.50) Ah (2 players)
Predator314 checks, MP bets $8, Predator314 raises to $18 and is all-in, MP calls $0.35 and is all-in


Who knows...I was getting 2 to 1 on my money there at the end, so I guess a call was in order?


Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

Predator314 (BB): $28.75 (115 bb)
UTG: $51.05 (204.2 bb)
MP: $25.35 (101.4 bb)
CO: $25 (100 bb)
BTN: $33.30 (133.2 bb)
SB: $216.10 (864.4 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is BB with Jd Jc
UTG raises to $0.85, 3 folds, SB raises to $2.25, Predator314 calls $2, UTG calls $1.40

Flop: ($6.75) 4c 5h 8s (3 players)
SB bets $6.75, Predator314 raises to $26.50 and is all-in, UTG folds, SB calls $19.75

Turn: ($59.75) 4d (2 players, 1 is all-in)
River: ($59.75) Js (2 players, 1 is all-in)


Yay! I suck out. As you can see, SB was rockin' a huge stack. He was also rockin a VPIP of 55% and a PFR of 30%. I don't feel too bad for getting it all in here because I feel I'm ahead of his range most of the time. Am I wrong?


Full Tilt, $0.10/$0.25 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 6 Players
Hand History Converter by Stoxpoker

CO: $24.75 (99 bb)
Predator314 (BTN): $28.85 (115.4 bb)
SB: $25.25 (101 bb)
BB: $33.40 (133.6 bb)
UTG: $51.40 (205.6 bb)
MP: $57.60 (230.4 bb)

Pre-Flop: Predator314 is BTN with Js Jd
2 folds, CO raises to $1, Predator314 raises to $3, 2 folds, CO raises to $7, Predator314 calls $4

Flop: ($14.35) Ks 3c As (2 players)
CO checks, Predator314 checks

Turn: ($14.35) 8s (2 players)
CO checks, Predator314 bets $11, CO folds


Normally, this is a fold pre-flop for me, but the villian in this hand was the fish at the table. I had iso-raised him several times prior and he had just recently started playing back at me. I was going to give up after the flop but when he checked, I figured him for AA-KK-QQ. When he checked the turn, I knew he had QQ and a large bet would most likely win me the pot assuming he didn't have Qs. He confirmed he did have QQ in the chat and he claims to have had the Qs. I'm happy with my post-flop play here, but looking back on my pre-flop play, I think it's bad. Comments?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Re-inventing myself.

In 2004, I was a winning poker player. 2005: crushed the games. 2006...meh... I didn't play so much, but I was winning. Enter the UIGEA and I have barely won any money since. It has taken me over a year to get over the fact that teh 2004, 2005, and early 2006 games are a thing of the past. Sure there are still many many donks out there, but the games are a lot tougher than they used to be. I have tried to adjust, but it's impossible to adjust fully when you chalk up bad results to negative variance every time.

I won't go as far as to say I'm a losing poker player because I'm not. I'm not a winning poker player either. I'm pretty much a break even player who used to be a winner. You'd think that would be something easy to admit, but pride is a tricky bitch.

Now that I've admitted that my poker abilities are par at best, it's time to re-invent myself. What do I need to do to become a winning poker player? Well I need to work on my game and make it better than most of the other players I'm playing against.

Some things I'm good at right now on the tables:

- Table Selection
- Aggression
- Getting in that extra value bet

Some things that kill me:

- Overaggression
- Trying to get in that extra razor thin value bet
- burnout
- Not being able to trust my instincts and make the tough folds

I've been watching Ed Miller's poker made simple videos on Stoxpoker. These have at least fired me up to play some more. I've never taken the time to properly learn how to play NLHE. I've pretty much used my LHE knowledge and adjusted from that. I can hold my own, but I'm not near as good as I want to be.

Like I mentioned in a prior post, I'm starting at the $25NL tables and working my way up. I'll re-evaluate after every 20K hands. If, after 20K hands, I feel comfortable moving up, I will. If, after 20K hands, I'm not comf0rtable with my game enough for the next level or my bankroll can't take it at the next level, I'll play another 20K hands at the same level and re-evaluate. It's going to be a pass/fail type thing. Pass and you move up a grade, fail and you get held back for 20,000 more hands.

I think my most important aspects to work on at the beginning are:

1.) getting back to ABC poker. Tight/Aggressive
2.) Staying out of auto-pilot mode
3.) Hand reading. This is an aspect of poker where I feel strong, but I don't trust my reads and I might as well be weak without that trust.
4.) Just play and have fun with the game

Now, 20K hands is about a month's worth of hands for me, so this might be a slow and tedious process, but it's one that I want to do. I want so much to be a winning poker player. Now that I admit that I'm not a winning poker player, I can really focus on becoming one. It's kind of excting in a way.... almost like starting over.

One of the most exciting pieces of poker news I've read in the past few days is something that you might not know about. Dusty aka Leatherass9 and Jared Tendler are writing a book. Some of you might know Leatherass from his blogs and his amazing grinding abilities. He's an awesome poker player, but I most respect his ability to play thousands of hands a day without burning out.

I'm sure most don't know who Jared Tendler is. Well, he's a mental game coach for ... GOLFERS. Dusty hired him a while back to help him with some sever bouts with variance and staying tilt free. Then the crew at Stoxpoker liked his techniques so much, they hired him.

This book will obviously focus on the mental aspects of poker. This is probably what bugs me the most about the game. Whether it be downswings, breakeven stretches, or even general assholes and angle shooters, I get burnt out on poker frequently. This book will hopefully deal with those aspects.

However, the one thing that excites me most about this book came from this excerpt:

Many of you have asked Dusty, “How he is able to grind so many hands?” The question that you really want answered is, “How I can become a grinder?” In the book I’ll show you how.

Weird as I have been asking this question over the past 2 weeks.

No more politics

I'm so fucking tired of this presidential election. I'm tired of hearing about it on the radio. I don't have a TV, but when I watch other people's TV's, I hear about it there. I've even started hearing about it from the mouth breathers down the street because it has turned into a black/white issue with them. They are rooting for whitey.

Personally, I'm so burnt out on politics. It's all the same B.S. If I actually believed Obama would make a difference in Washington, I'd support him. As it stands now, I'm not supporting either candidate. That's my view on the subject right now and all the detail I'll get into.

The one thing that really bugs me about this election though is the fact that my favorite poker blogs are spewing all this political mumbo jumbo day in and day out. Which means I'm not getting entertained. I'm not pointing fingers either because I'm guilty myself. It seems the poker community leans to the left as where I try to walk the middle, but fall to the right if I lose my balance. So I'm sure it's even more frustrating for one of my readers when they log in and see me calling Obama a douchebag.

So here's the deal. This blog is going to be politics free (unless it's something directly poker related). You catch me blogging about politics on this particular blog, you get to rename it for a week. Just email me if you catch me and tell me what you want it named and I'll do it.



I did my fair amount of poker grinding over the weekend. The results were poor, but I was happy with the amount of hands I was able to play. Especially since this was a weekend filled with plans.

Friday night, I hit the sack early, so I only played a few hundred hands. I had to be up at 4:00 a.m., so I went to bed around 11:00 or so. I went fishing that Saturday morning. I left the house around 4:00 a.m. and got home around 5:30 p.m. It was a long day and very HOT. I loved it.

I caught a few trout on the fishing trip. I think my final total was 5. I kept 3 of the 5. My buddy Rusty caught like 7-8 and kept all his. It was too hot for trout fishing really, but we made due with what we had to work with.

I was dog tired when I got home, but did grind several hundred hands. I couldn't get anything to hold up and kept getting kicked in the nuts by the dealer. More of the same yesterday as I got up early and grindout out quite a bit.

I think I'm over my LHE phase again. After seeing my winnings go through the roof initially, my win line has cleared the hump and headed south. WAY SOUTH! Back to even. I hate LHE.

So, I started up Stoxpoker and some of Ed Miller's videos and caught the NLHE bug again. I really need to learn that game. So here's my gameplan:

20,000 hands at .10/.25 and re-evaluate results. If I feel comfortable with the game after that amount, then move up. If I'm still struggling, keep studying and do another 20K hands. And basically just repeat this process as I hopefully progress up the ranks.

The one thing I want to avoid is having a heater, decided I'm crushing the games, move up in limits and blow my bankroll because I thought I was a winning player. And here's something I'm going to confess here and now:

Post UIGEA, I'm no longer a winning poker player

Friday, June 6, 2008

Betting dem Ponies

I suck at gambling on horses and dogs. I just pick random horses and hope for the best. This weekend, however, I'm taking Luckbox's advice and betting his lines. It's action and I have a hell of a lot better chance winning this way than my other methods.

When I order something that needs to be shipped to me, I usually have it shipped to the office. It's much more convenient that way. My Dad has a birthday coming up on Monday and I ordered him all 3 seasons of Arrested Development for a gift.

Just like hundreds of other orders that I've made a Amazon, I put in the same address on file and had it shipped here. Today is Friday and his birthday is on Monday, so I got worried and decided to track my package. Well, they decided to send this package USPS. My heart sank when I realized this.

You see our office is stupid. You can send something UPS, Fedex, DHL, whatever to our street address. Send something via mail to this address and you get nothing. They don't even try.

So I called the Post Office. The woman did not want to help me at all. I got kind of rude with her and at least she looked through some stack of stuff (supposedly). According to her, it should be already on the truck going back. That's all well and good, except for the fact when I track my package it says "DELIVERED". It sure as fuck wasn't delivered here!

Fuck the Post Office and everything the government is in any way involved. They are low life fuck ups. They can't do shit right. And now they are screwing up my Dad's b-day present!

Another mediocre day

I played about an hour last night and won, but won very little. That's 2 days in a row of break even poker. Better than losing I guess. I'm beginning to realize why I got away from LHE in the 1st place. I feel comfortable plyaing limit. I'm a better player at limit. When I am winning at limit, I win fast. However, there are so many stretches where you win nothing or lose. Sometimes these stretches go on seemingly forever.

I think I'll switch things up tonight and play some NL poker. I can't play a very long time because I got plans for Saturday. I'm going fishing Saturday morning. I have to pick up my friend Rusty at 4:30 a.m., so I'll be hitting the sack early tonight. I also have to go to Wal-Hell and pick up some supplies for my fishing trip. I want to get everything done this evening and have everything packed so I can wake up at 4:20 a.m. and throw on some clothes and leave.

I'm probably going to focus more on learning tonight than playing. I will probably fire up some videos on Stoxpoker. I saw some interesting looking videos on Hand reading by Ed Miller I'd like to check out. I have a huge backlog of NL Videos on that site I can watch.

I have also decided not to go to Vegas. I could probably afford it, but it would also put a hamper on my financial situation for a little while if I went. Being that I just got on completely stable financial ground, I don't think I can disrupt that just to go hang out at some Casinos. Next year though and I'll be saving for that trip as well.

So now back to the age old question.... What to do on vacation?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Score 1 for Full Tilt

My bonus expired yesterday. I was like $1.21 shy of clearing the next $20 when it expired. That was a bummer. I contacted Full Tilt asking them if by any chance they could extend this bonus for me since I was just now finding time to do some grinding. I didn't really expect anything from the email but an apology and a statement saying it was against policy. Instead I got this:


Although we are unable to extend the bonus offer, we can re-issue a new
bonus equivalent to the remainder of your unearned bonus.

As you were only $1.21 away from releasing your last $20.00 bonus
increment before the offer expired, as a courtesy we have released
another $20.00 increment into your cash balance. These funds are
available in your account as of now.


So basically, I have a brand new bonus to work with. I was just expecting a day or 2 extension at best. Now I have 21 days to finish the bonus off.


I played more hands yesterday than I have played in a long time. I just felt like grinding it out. Unfortunately, I could have played 10 minutes and had the same results. It was an up and down day with me ending up just barely on the plus side. At least it was a profit. And a good deal of rakeback.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hard times again

I've fallen into another poker funk. That didn't take long. I dont' really care though. I'm just playing for the sake of playing right now. Hopefully I can burn through this small (so far) downswing fairly quickly and get it all behind me without going on monkey tilt. So far so good, but we'll see if it keeps kicking my ass day in and day out.

I think I'm going to jump in the NL games tonight to mix things up. I failed miserably as far as clearing that bonus. I sent an email to FT pleading for an extension, but I don't really expect anything to come of that.

The good thing about playing limit poker is the rakeback you get in return. That shit really adds up at the small stakes games. I should have a nice rakeback payment coming at the end of June because I didn't cash out any of it for my efforts in May.

I'm having a hard time wanting to play once I get home from work. All day long at work, all I can think about is getting away from everyone and firing up a bunch of tables and grinding. Then when I get there, I start playing with the puppy or working in the yard and have a hard time tearing myself away for some table time. If only there were more hours in a day, this wouldn't be a problem.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I got some pointers from BadBlood on booking a trip to Vegas. He lives about 4.5 hrs away from me and Charlotte, NC seems to be a little over halfway between the 2 of us (or under if you're coming from the G-Vegas direction). Charlotte also has the best airport in my area. I do have somewhat closer options, but there's still going to be some driving involved, so, I'll just choose the airport with the most options. I'm fairly proficient with Charlotte roads and traffic too. It looks like all the local airports either stop in Charlotte, Cincy, or Philly anyway, so I might as well skip that step. Why drive 1.5 hours to board a flight that will stop at a place you can reach in 2.5 hours of driving the other direction?

The Vegas trip is becoming more of a reality each day. I really want to go. My only problems would be 1.) running solo, 2.) my fear of flying 3.) and lack of planning which equals lack of money. I'm trying to take care of #3 as I'm frantically trying to get everything straightened out from my house refinance and see how much I gained on my equity compared to what I spent on repairs. My fear of flying is more of a fear of control. I'm not too fond of heights, but I've just never flown because, well I've never really gone too many places that made flying a necessity. #1) is my biggest problem. It's not that I'm afraid to go to Vegas by myself. It's just that I want to experience it with a friend or friends. I don't doubt that with the onslaught of bloggers covering the WSOp and just hanging around that I can hook up with somebody. I just wish I had more friends that weren't married, didn't have full time jobs, and more or less don't give a shit and this would be all good.

In some ways, going solo in Vegas might be a good thing. I could do what I want, when I want without having to worry about others. On the other hand, I could get rolled by a hooker and not even know it :) I could play as much poker as I wanted and eat wherever I wanted. I could also get lost and end up with the tweakers at the Redneck Riveria.

Right now all signs point to "What the fuck else am I going to do?" and the Vegas trip seems to be on. Now who wants to stake me in one of the tournies?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Vegas baby?

I'm rapidly approaching my vacation and I still don't have any plans set in stone yet. It was going to be a trip to Manchester, TN to experience Bonnaroo. Well, it looks like those plans are going to fall through as most of my friends that once said they were going have fell victim to the common sickness called "Pussus Whoopus", commonly known as "Pussy Whooped". Looks like I'll be going to the All Good music festival instead.

I have since moved my vaction to a more standard Mon-Friday vacation. My vacation starts on June 16 and ends June 20. But what oh what am I going to do? I really have no clue.

There's always fishing. It's the standby. I love fishing, but I want to do something different this year. Bonnaroo was my different thing to do this year. So now what?

Here are some contemplative ideas:

- Say fuck it and go to Bonnaroo solo (very doubtful, but intriguing)

- Hit the Shenendoah River and enjoy that area for a few days.

- Hit Stonewall Jackson lake and keep things a little closer to home.

- Book a trip to Vegas and check out some ofthe WSOP madness.

- Take a 12 hour road trip to Atlantic City.

Out of those few items, the Vegas trip sounds most appealing. I've never been to Vegas. It's on my list of "Places to see". I'm looking for something different and Vegas is about as different as you can possibly get.

It would kind of suck going to Vegas alone, but I'm sure there will be plenty of blogging brethren to hook up with. I'm not much of a partier. I don't drink and I'm not interested in the night clubs. However, I wouldn't pass up a 4:20 smoke break with Pauly and Change100 if invited there though ;).

My whole thing with Vegas is that I just want to check out the Casinos and play some live poker. Especially during the WSOp where the trout ponds are stocked with retarded fish. Next in line is the food. I want to try out some of the good food Vegas has to offer. I'm a redneck in the woods surrounded by 2 McDonalds, 2 Wendys, 2 Hardees, a Taco Bell, and 5 strip clubs. It's bad when I have more of a selection of where I want to see naked meth addicts than where I want to eat.

I'm going to start pricing out the trip now. I don't have a load of money to blow in Vegas on Hookers and Blow, but I might be able to put something together. If any of you Vegas veterans out there want to give me some pointers as to where to find the best deals on plane ticket and/or room, I'd be much obliged. I'd most likely either be flying out of Charlotte, NC, but there's a possibility I could fly out of Greensboro, NC.

Bo knew Diddley

RIP Bo Diddley

I had a fairly full-fulling weekend. I spent most of the time working on the yard. I woke up early on Saturday morning because the Puppy just wasn't being good. I let him sleep outside of the crate and I paid for that one. I really wanted to go back to bed and skip out on his vet appointment, but I sucked it up. I wasn't sure if I could handle the pup on no sleep in a room full of strange animals.

Fortunately when we got there, he was a good pup. He wanted to check out the other animals, but just some sniffing. He was in a new environment and wanted to check out EVERYTHING. But I was able to reasonably control him (Much better than some of the other pet owners). He did good for the vet too. He got all his shots. The vet said he was probably about 7 months old. He was completely healthy with no heart worms or any other things they try to scare you with. Did you know that dogs can get venerial diseases? What's next, puppy condoms? I also made an appointment to get him neutered on June 20th.

After the vet, I had to go find some mulch. It's not like the shit is hard to find. Everybody sells it. I picked the place closest to the house. The guy didn't seem very interested in selling it though. He then quoted me a price of $60/scoop. I politely told him to go fuck himself and moved on to the next place. It was $22/scoop at the 2nd place with much better looking mulch. Sold.

Then came the fun part...actually putting that shit down. It really only took about 2 to 2.5 hours, but it was manual labor though. My damn fingers can barely move right now after a constant swinging of the shovel and rake. Fat people and manual labor don't mix.

My parents left about 4:30 a.m. this morning to go to Atlantic City. They are just staying through Wednesday. It's a birthday trip for my Mom and Dad both. I, on the other hand, don't have any obligations in the evening time until they get back into town. So the timing is perfect. I have the next 3 nights to work off as much of the Full Tilt bonus as possible. I'm not going to get the entire bonus worked off, but I want to get at least $100 of it.

I didn't get in any of the marathon sessions this weekend like I had intended because of the yard work and all the nice weather we had. I did get my 2 hour session I had promised in though. This week, I kick it up to 2 hours a night on the tables. I might mix it up between 1 hour limit and 1 hour no limit. It just all depends on the flow of the games.

Lastly, I've been following this guy trying to win $10K in a month at $25NL. Talk about a grinder. Sweet Jesus the man has played like 150K hands in 10 days. Thats just sickening. I wish I could find a way to even get remotely close to that kind of number. By the way, no chance in hell he is able to pull this one off. $10K is a huge number when youre talking microstakes poker.