Monday, June 30, 2008

Yet another final table at Viejas

Let's see. That's 8 of 13 now. I could make a copy of my last live tournament post because it went down pretty much the same way. I had to change my game plan a little and really tighten my hand range. There was a LAG in seat 1 that was actually a really good player. At the second level though I finally was able to double through him with J-10 offsuit (I was able to limp with this hand). the flop came J-9-5 rainbow. I was last to act. 3 to the flop. The first guy checks and LAG bets half the pot. I think for a second and call. First guy folds. the next card is a rag and LAG makes a pot size pet. I think about it for a second and come over the top of him. He immediately calls with pocket 8's. The next card misses both of us and I take down the pot.

The truth is I couldn't find a hand to play today. At least in the first hour. The other important hand I remember was waking up to A-K after the LAG had already raised 3x the blind. One of the guys between us goes all in with his 3 chips that he had left. I call "all in" and the LAG makes a groan. He goes into the tank for about a minute before he folds the hand. I hit a K on the flop to take out the all-in. A 9 hit on the turn and the LAG starts to moan some more. After the hand he tells me good bet and tells me he had pocket 9's. If he had called with the 9's he would have had about 6 chips behind. I guess he thought it wasn't worth it. Thank God. That hand left me near the top of the chipleaders at my table. I think playing so few hands to that point definitely helped me in that situation. In fact, I can only remember losing 1 hand at showdown today.

2 guys bust out at the same time and we have ourselves another final table. Although this time, the big stack doesn't want to deal. We play a circuit and this hand comes up. The guy UTG makes an all in bet. It fold around to me. I find Q-Q. I didn't push immediately. I was thinking if I should fold to the more money. I would have broken even for the day with my-ev play on the machines if I went out here. That was good enough for me. I call his all in (he has me outstacked). Then the guy in the big blind calls as well. I think he had us both outstacked as well. The first guy turns over A-J, the second guy turns over something like 10-9, neither improves and I take down a pivotal pot for me. I knocked neither one of the guys out but severely crippled the first guy down to 1 chip. A couple of hands later another double knockout occurs, bringing us down to six players. Two stacks twice my size get some extra money and the rest of us take down 10x our buy in. Another good score. Another final table.

I think one of the things that has led to my success in the live MTT's is that I'm learning to play to the strengths and weaknesses of the other players at my table. Whereas on Friday I was able to limp and raise with not particularly strong starting hands, I knew that wasn't going to work today with the aggressive players I was up against. So I tightened up my range, won a couple of pots with good cards at showdown, and was able to steal a few blinds in the middle of the tournament due to my tight table image.

In the past I might have gone on tilt against a guy that was as aggressive as seat 1 was. Today, I was able to pick my spots and make him pay for his aggressiveness as opposed to my usual pushing back with nothing or next to nothing. That's sent me home from many a tournament in the past. It's been nice having this vacation time off to play a little poker and gauge my abilities against guys that play tournament poker every day. I'm thinking that I'm more than holding my own and that maybe I should pursue playing the live tournaments a little more aggressively. Of course, I could be just getting lucky. There's always that.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Didn't make it to The Lucky Lady. Instead Letty and I ventured up to beautiful Viejas Casino to play a little bingo. I've been getting lazy the last couple of times we have played and I have been using the video console to keep track of my cards. Letty plays the paper cards and doesn't buy the specials.

Not that it mattered. Neither one of us was a winner. I was one number off one time but that was it. Couldn't close the deal. We got out of the house and had fun so that was more important than winning.

As we were leaving Viejas, I put a $20 into a machine (I can't for the life of me remember what it was called) and ended up doubling up and getting off and going home. That's the good thing with bringing my wife with me. If I win something as little as $20 she will drag my ass out of there. She's NOT invited to Vegas with me. LOL . Just kidding baby, you know I love ya!!!

The Inside Scoop On Chrissy Russo

Here's what happened to Chrissy. Thanks to The Innocent Bystander for getting the scoop! He got a live interview and even got a picture with her. I'm so jealous!!! Oops, gotta run, wife is getting ready to hit me with the rolling pin.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Poker Stars WSOP $1 Million giveaway: Weekly Final Live Blog

10:00 am I qualified into this tournament on Tuesday in one of the hourly tournaments that Poker Stars is running. The actual qualifying tournament was pretty much a super turbo rush job. I was surprised when I looked at the tournament info at the $5,000 starting stack and the blinds starting off small and lasting for 15 minutes. It's actually somewhat of a real tournament and not just a poosh fest. I don't know if that's good or bad for me. It's a half an hour before the tournament starts and there's already over 7,000 runners.

It's funny how excited I am about this tournament. It's the same feeling I get when I buy a lotto ticket. I get to dream about what I would do if I won. I'm picturing myself driving out to Vegas, entering into my suite at the Palms, hob nobbing with all the poker glitterati, you get the picture. Ahhh, dreaming. I don't do as much of it as I used to. So for a couple of hours I get to dream.

10:30 am 7,795 runners start it off, people are already playing 10x the blind on the first couple of hands. Sigh.

10:45 blinds up to 15/30 I'm at 4,800 in chips. Saw a couple of flops but nothing happened. Stack: largest 20355, smallest 10, average 5261 Your current position is 5195 out of 7424.

11:00 am blinds 25/50 I'm at 6,895 in chips. Won a couple of hands and split a plot to get up above the starting stack. Stack: largest 29325, smallest 100, average 5841 Your current position is 384 out of 6681

11:15 blinds 50/100 I won another couple of pots to double my starting stack. $10,445. Feeling pretty good about my play right now. Stack: largest 35610, smallest 180, average 6239 Your current position is 814 out of 6263

11:30 first break blinds 75/150. I'm at $10,945. Was a slow level for me. I actually got check-raised out of a pot that somewhat hurt. OK, got to go pee. Stack: largest 41595, smallest 70, average 6881 Your current position is 759 out of 5664

11:50 blinds 100/200. My first huge all in bluff works. Thank God. $14,570 in chips. I'm also at a new table, a couple of stacks larger than mine. Stack: largest 77640, smallest 50, average 8003 Your current position is 560 out of 4880

12:13 I'm out. The stupid hand that crippled me. I don't know what the hell I was thinking, couldn't lay it down. I hate myself right now....

PokerStars Game #18443112332: Tournament #84389993, Freeroll Hold'em No Limit - Level VII (125/250) - 2008/06/28 - 15:07:35 (ET)
Table '84389993 974' 9-max Seat #5 is the button
Seat 1: raster1 (13410 in chips)
Seat 2: Marto28 (3380 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 3: ashhardwares (11109 in chips)
Seat 4: Nuscas (3275 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 5: bub66ohm (14270 in chips)
Seat 6: MrSiggs (21243 in chips)
Seat 7: Cigman420 (3525 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 8: headsuppkr (9400 in chips)
Seat 9: SLOWHANDS59 (12158 in chips)
raster1: posts the ante 25Marto28: posts the ante 25
ashhardwares: posts the ante 25
Nuscas: posts the ante 25
bub66ohm: posts the ante 25
MrSiggs: posts the ante 25
Cigman420: posts the ante 25
headsuppkr: posts the ante 25
SLOWHANDS59: posts the ante 25
MrSiggs: posts small blind 125
Cigman420: posts big blind 250
*** HOLE CARDS ***Dealt to bub66ohm [8c Jc]
headsuppkr: folds
SLOWHANDS59: calls 250
raster1: calls 250
Marto28: folds
ashhardwares: calls 250
Nuscas: folds
bub66ohm: calls 250
MrSiggs: calls 125
Cigman420: folds

*** FLOP *** [5h Jd Js]
MrSiggs: checks
SLOWHANDS59: checks
raster1: checks
ashhardwares: checks
bub66ohm: bets 800
MrSiggs: folds
SLOWHANDS59: folds
raster1: calls 800
ashhardwares: folds

*** TURN *** [5h Jd Js] [2s]
raster1: checks
bub66ohm: bets 1600
raster1: raises 1600 to 3200
bub66ohm: raises 9995 to 13195 and is all-in
raster1: calls 9135 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (860) returned to bub66ohm

*** RIVER *** [5h Jd Js 2s] [6d]

*** SHOW DOWN ***raster1: shows [2h Jh] (a full house, Jacks full of Deuces)
bub66ohm: shows [8c Jc] (three of a kind, Jacks)
raster1 collected 27995 from pot

*** SUMMARY ***Total pot 27995 Rake 0 Board [5h Jd Js 2s 6d]Seat 1: raster1 showed [2h Jh] and won (27995) with a full house, Jacks full of DeucesSeat 2: Marto28 folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 3: ashhardwares folded on the FlopSeat 4: Nuscas folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 5: bub66ohm (button) showed [8c Jc] and lost with three of a kind, JacksSeat 6: MrSiggs (small blind) folded on the FlopSeat 7: Cigman420 (big blind) folded before FlopSeat 8: headsuppkr folded before Flop (didn't bet)Seat 9: SLOWHANDS59 folded on the Flop

There it is. In a live tourney I probably only call in that spot and then get out of the way. Here I think I can push someone off of a hand, he obviously check raised me with something and I wasn't going to get him off the hand. Shit. Oh well, maybe next year. I think I'm going to go play some live cash at the Lady Luck as soon as I cool off.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tournament re-cap

Ho hum. Yet ANOTHER final table appearance by yours truly. That's 7 final tables in my last 12 live tournaments. I really should play live more often. Maybe it's just where I play. Although I went 2 for 4 in Vegas in February.

I wish it would transfer to my online playing. I don't think it's because I'm a great reader of people that I play better live. It might be because I don't make a lot of bored donkey moves in a live tournament for fear of embarrassing myself. I have no such fear when I'm playing online. I really have a hard time keeping my concentration up over a couple of hours in online MTT's. Playing live I really watch what's going on around me and rate the players I'm playing against much more than I do online. Who knows. Maybe I just catch cards live. I caught a few today.

First level of the tournament. The guy two to my right raises to $200 from 25/50 blinds. I look down at 10-10. I call the $200 to see the flop, everyone else folds. The flop comes Q-10-x. Dude is first to act and bets $1,000. The tournament starts off with $3,000 in chips. I'm not going to call, I can't see him having queens, maybe a-q? I push the rest of my stack and declare myself all in. He looks at me, and calls saying he hopes I don't have a queen because I'm in trouble if I do. He tables A-A I flop over my set, he doesn't improve and I've doubled through him. The amazing thing is he is the son of the guy I doubled through back in the $100 tournament I played at viejas in December. Really cool guy, he's in a wheelchair but plays some great poker. The really amazing thing is that he only had about $150 in chips after that hand but played himself all the way back to the final table himself. It was a win - win situation which was pretty cool cuz I like the guy a lot.

I take down a couple of more pots including knocking a guy out when my 8-3 in the big blind turned into a full house on the river and he got all of his chips in with A-8. Guess he should have raised me out of the pot. Eventually we color up and then the table is broken.

The blinds are moving up faster now. I'm down to about 9 $500 chips after the $100 chips are colored up. A lot of stealing going on. Finally, I'm in the small blind when a guy to my left goes all in with K-Qo. I look down and find A-A. I call (I think I have him out stacked barely), he doesn't improve and for the first time that day at the tables I sat at AA didn't get cracked. Whoo, I have some breathing room now. I steal a couple of blinds, I'm up to about 24 or 25 pinkies, then this hand happens.

The guy opens from UTG or real close with an all in for about half of what I have. I look down at A-Q suited. I think about it for a minute and finally call. everyone else folds. He turns over 6-6. Flop A-J-6. I can't catch him and he takes down half of my chips. the blinds at this level I believe are 3-6 pink.

We are down to 3 tables when we color up to.... um I'm not sure what that color is. Some kind of ugly light green, not the dark green which equals $25. Anyway they are $2,500 chips. After we race for chips and I don't catch a one, I'm left with 3 of the puke green chips. Actually it must have been broken down to two tables, twenty players left in the tourney. I'm in the big blind with my 2 chips and one behind. The small blind raises me and I call blind. He has 9-6o. I have 10-3o. We both wiff on the flop, the turn, and the river. Whoo-hoooo!!! Double up for me but I still have a lot of work to do.

Maybe the pivotal hand for me is one I don't play at all. The wheelchair guy raise to 6 chips (blind are 1-2 Puke greens or pg's) I look down at A-J suited. There's only about 13 of us left and if I call I only have 3 chips behind and if I raise he is sure to call having me out stacked. I lay it down. I was figuring him for a pocket pair and didn't want to get in a race. After the tournament he told me he was holding A-Q. Good thing I didn't call. A few hands later an all-in 3 way occurs, 2 guys bust and we are into the final table.

At the final table everybody decides to chop even. It was unbelievable. There were 3 stacks that were easily ahead of the others. I don't know if it was me. I was probably in the middle somewhere but was more than willing to take 4th place money without playing a hand.

How about that? Some actual poker content. I'm going to have to start making notes when I play because there were some better hands that I was involved with but can't for the life of me remember. Including a couple I lost.

The bad thing is that I donked off a couple of buy ins on those gosh darned one armed bandits. If I could stay away from those I'd probably be a winning player.

Tomorrow I'm entered in to some Poker Stars Free Roll. The top 4 prizes are are an entry into the 2008 WSOP Main Event. Wish me luck, I'm going to have to lay a bunch of bad beats on a lot of people to take that one down.

Friday Staycation trip to Viejas

Heading over to Viejas for a little morning tournament action and some cash game fun. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chrissy Russo

Chrissy Russo is no longer on Fox 6 news in San Diego. The world is a little sadder place. Sniff.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The cast is off.

At least while I am at the house. at work, I'm still using it because I'm afraid that I will re break it doing something stupid as I'm known to do. I don't always use the best judgement. Unbelievable, no? Life's been going pretty well lately. My two middle daughters have been calling and texting frequently and it's been awesome getting to know them even if it's from afar. My youngest daughter Grace and I have a standing date on Sundays to go to church together and hang out afterword so that is awesome as well. It's been pretty quiet on the Rachel (my oldest) front but I check out her myspace page frequently and it doesn't seem like there is anything major happening there.

Pokerwise, I haven't been doing much at all. I won a UB freeroll tournament against about 4500 others which earned me a grand total of $9 lol. 5 hours for $9. I guess it's the principle of the thing? Hmmm, not sure. Went up to Viejas on Wednesday for my first live tournament since January. Never really got going and was out after the second color-up. About 2 hands into it.

Letty and I have been doing well. Not fighting or arguing nearly as much as we had been doing the months prior. We are both beginning to trust each other a little more. Did I mention how good it feels to be typing this? I might be typing a lot more just to get my hand dexterity back to point. It's a pretty wild break. They call it a boxer's break. It's the metacarpal on my pinkie. On my left hand. I'm left handed. Sigh. I'm a little scared to use it too much.

NA convention is happening this weekend in San Diego but I probably won't make it down there. The San Diego Convention is weird because there is really no place to hang out and talk. It's just go to a meeting, stand outside, smoke 'em if you got 'em if you smoke 'em (I don't), then go back inside for the next meeting. It's cool because you see people there that you only get to see once a year. If I didn't have to go to work I probably would have gone but by the time I wake up there won't be any time. So off to work I go.

That's about it, I hope I can really start writing on this thing. I was a much more prolific writer when I was loaded than I am now. That goes for blogging and music. I wonder why that is? I think part of it is that I am wrapped too tight when I am not getting loaded. It's hard for me to dig underneath all my defenses when I'm clean. I'll just keep trying and leave the results up to God. How about that?