Monday, May 22, 2006

Brew Crew makes me Blue

The Brewers had a moderately awful weekend hosting the Twins. Unfortunately, I got to see a portion of that debacle as I went to Saturday's 16-10 drubbing of the Brewers. It was Scott's birthday this past Saturday so we spent the afternoon at Miller Park tailgating and drinking. We made it into the ballpark to catch the bottom of the 2nd inning, and the score was already 6-2 in favor of the Twins! By the 6th inning it was 13-4, and we had enough. We took off. Most people were still pretty tipsy from drinking all day so a lot of people were heading home. That's when I decided to make a run to the poker room.

I called from the parking lot only to find that there were 17 people ahead of me on the No Limit table list, so I got myself on the Spread Limit $5-$25 Table as well. There was no rush to get there, and when I did I decided that I should try and expand my poker horizons a little bit and I sat down at the 7-Stud $1-$5 table. Very little bluffing, but you have to concentrate a whole lot because there are so many face up cards. Definitely very different, and quite a bit of fun, too. I was doing rather well. I bought in for $100, and when I got called over to the Spread Limit table I was up $83.

The spread limit game was fun, but it's really hard to get people out of pots if there has been any betting preflop. Because the limit is $25, and you usually had 3 or 4 (or more) people seeing a flop, lots of people would call with anything. I had made top pair when the board flopped Q-high and I was holding K-Q, and I couldn't get a guy out holding A-J; then the turn came J and the river came Ace to foil my hand. All in all I had a good time. I ended up with a net loss of $57.

I also played an online poker tournament with 2490 players. I came in 84th, cashing a little over 3 times the buy-in. Unfortunately, that is where the "hand of the day" comes from:

Me: T-T, early position, 2nd largest stack at table (approx 185000)
Opponent: A-K, under the gun (UTG), largest stack at the table (approx 195000)
Blinds 3000-6000, Antes 75

My opponent raises from UTG to 20000, so I decide to reraise. Now with that kind of bet I could have reraised and not put all my chips in, but I was going to play this hand even if he moved all in because the big stack had been bullying quite a bit, so I moved all in first, figuring that would be my only chance to get him to fold. He called and the board was just cruel to me:


Giving me a full house Tens full of Kings, while he made a boat Kings full of Aces. With that flop all the money was getting in the middle anyway, so I don't think by just calling I would have been saved. Oh well. There's always the next tourney.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Welcome to Face's Poker Room


The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is less than 2 months away! In fact, the event that I will be participating in first is 40 days from today. What you can see here is some information on preparing for the WSOP, and during the event I will try to post updates.

Now when I say "preparing" for the WSOP, what I really mean is some of the play that I will be doing at both the local casino and online at one of the poker websites that are out there. I will also include any other updates that may occur involving traveling to Vegas or staying there. I'll apologize now for the length of this entry. I'll try to keep future entries much shorter.

I'm going to Vegas with my good friend Dan. We'll be leaving June 26. Dan is returning June 29th, and I am scheduled to return on June 30th. Hopefully with a little luck that won't be the case. Originally, we had planned on staying at the Imperial Palace. Then Harrah's (the people that own the Rio and run the WSOP) came out with a special for WSOP tournament players, so we changed our reservation from the Imperial Palace and booked at the Paris hotel. Well, earlier this week I received some mail that I would normally classify as junk mail from the Riviera Hotel. I can't call this junk mail since this piece of mail was offering three free nights at their hotel. Now I like the Paris Hotel, but I have to say that I like free even better! So now we have changed our reservation from Paris to the Riviera. They even gave me the 4th night for a whopping $35!!

All right, now that you've read all about the hotel accommodations, on to some more fun stuff.

I've been trying to get down to the local casino a little more regularly to get in practice with playing with live players. They have 10 tables at the casino, and are usually offering two No Limit tables where I like the action. As long as there are enough players for two tables, the casino runs the game where any new player must come in to the game at the table that the casino calls the "feeder" table. The other No Limit table is the "main" table. Due to some of the play that Dan and I have seen at these two tables, we've given them some nicknames. From now on I will refer to the "feeder" table as Moronville. If you're smart enough to last long enough to go to the "main" game, we've called that table Graduate School. You get to Graduate School when someone already seated at Graduate School leaves the game. Then the casino moves a player from Moronville over to Graduate School to fill that seat, and then a new player can be seated at Moronville.

By the way, I LOVE Moronville! I've done very well at this table in the past. I've had some good fortune at Graduate School as well, but I don't have to work nearly as hard to win when I'm sitting at Moronville as I do when I'm at Graduate School.

This past Saturday I went down to the casino to get in some action at the No Limit tables. I called in and got my name on the list, and when I arrived I saw that my friend Dan had also gotten his name on the list, so I knew he'd be arriving soon to play as well. A coworker of mine was already playing at Moronville so I decided to watch some of the action while I waited to get my chips and chair. Now, my friend who was already playing is kind of chatty at the table, and he uses this to throw off your concentration (and sometimes get under your skin), and it works pretty well on a lot of people. The hand that I am about to describe is just why I love Moronville so much:

My friend has K-7. I don't recall if they were offsuit or not; I just knew that it wasn't a great starting hand, especially since a guy at the table played K-7 on the last hand and lost about $150 because another player had him outkicked. I had made the comment from behind the table "Well...that's what you get for playing K-7." I think that may have been part of the reason my friend played it the very next hand. Anyway, the pot was raised preflop to $15. My friend calls with his K-7, and the flop comes:


There weren't two of any suit out there so there were no flush draws in play, and the only straight draw in play was a gutshot. My friend decides to lead out and bet, and his bet makes the pot $60. His opponent moves all in for an additional $240. This is where my friend goes in to chatty mode, only this time I knew he was doing it to get information from the raiser. He's shooting the comment "I know I've got you beat", "Why so much in to a $60 pot", etc. Eventually he folds his hand face up showing the top pair from the flop. A nice laydown, but not a hard one considering his kicker and the amount to call. It was what happened next that makes this hand worth telling. The player shows that he was holding 9-9 in his hand, and says sarcastically, "ya had me beat, huh?!". I couldn't help but laugh! This guy had no clue as to what he had! Had he just called my friend's bet at the flop, my friend probably would have bet again at the turn, and depending on what happened there he may have even bet at the river! This guy was holding a monster at the flop and he put all his chips in to a $60 pot! The only hand that's going to call him there is going to be A-A or K-K, and if he's got one of those he's the one getting crushed! Poor, poor play there, but even more funny was the fact that this joker even confirmed for my friend that he made the right decision! I LOVE Moronville!!Rather ironically, his seat was the seat I got about 10 minutes later when he called with an overpair and got busted by a guy on a straight and flush draw. Maybe he should have moved all in on that one to push the drawing guy out...hmmmmm....that's Moronville for ya! Dan got my friend's seat when he decided to leave.

The other hand I'll talk about here was one where my friend Dan took a big beat. Unfortunately it was on his first hand at the table. It wasn't too surprising; Dan has a streak of bad luck which has earned him the nickname "Mr. 101" (story for another time). The other thing you have to know about Dan is that he couldn't tell a poker story even if his life was at stake. Good poker player, bad poker storyteller. Anyway, Dan got his first hand in on the big blind and was dealt a pair of Tens (T-T). There was a raise before the flop that 4 other players before Dan called, and Dan decided to come in to the hand for the call. The flop comes:

Qh - Th - x (it wasn't a heart, and it was less than a seven)

The small blind checks, Dan checks with his set of Tens, and the preflop raiser bets $75, which is about the size of the pot. Now, I'm sure Dan checked because he knew this guy would bet, but what he wasn't counting on was what happened before the action got back to him. Three of the four other players called before it got back to Dan! So now this is a huge pot! Dan moves all in for his remaining chips, which was an additional $210. Well, that would no longer be enough to push big drawing hands out, and that's what happened. Another player called putting himself all in, and the small blind also called. He had Dan covered easily. The turn hit a blank, and the river was the 7h. The small blind showed that he had Jh-9h, so he made his flush. He was on an open-ended straight flush draw, so I don't think he would have gone away at the flop. At the turn....maybe. Dan bought back in for $150, and made his way very close to even by the time I left at 1:30am.

So, that's just some examples of some of the play I've seen at Moronville recently. I promise to keep future blogs shorter, and I'll put more of my own play in there next time, too!