Glenn's Poker Journal

Husband to FeliciaLee.. here are some of my poker adventures in 'bilking the internet poker machine, six dollars at a time' (--quoted from Sean, Anisotropy).

Location: United States

NOT a poker blogger!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Ah Brother!

Ah, brother! I folded 33 on the flop and it would have won. No, no miracle 2 outer that would have given me the set…no. The pre-flop raiser was betting no pair, and the caller just had AJs, for Ace-high! In other words, any pair was good.

Geez, I’m going through a lot of this recently, don’t know about you other guys. As Felicia posted, we played live recently in Laughlin, and I had a ton of those situations from the 4/8 game. So much so, I left for my own sanity!

  • Posted behind the button with “Big Lick” (thanks, Richard!) 69o. I folded to a raise…would have cracked AA with 2 pair (in my defense on this one, it was a kill pot, it would have cost me 3 more SB’s (full-kill).
  • UTG I folded Q9s; would have had 2nd nut flush…54s of the same suit took down the huge pot.
  • 69o again in BB, folded to raise…again, two pair (straight won though)
  • Folded 76s on button for…the straight flush, the mortal nuts.
  • I watched in awe as two people bet and raised the turn that would have brought it to me. Just a lowly straight won the pot, not even the Ace-high flush. No flush at all. Geez, what I pot I missed.
Sometimes I just feel like I’m too gosh-darn tight! In a tournament, we’re 2 away from the money, and I’m one of the 3 short stacks. I could try to ride them out, and hope that they don’t double up, or I can take a shot. I find AQ UTG and raise, UTG+1 cold called and UTG+2 3-bet! Oh brother, what did I step into? So I call to see the flop, T-high. I checked and the 3-bettor bet, of course, but now what do I do? Often, I’m more afraid of the guy in the middle; he cold-called my raise and then the 3-bet. If I call, I could get check-raised by the guy in the middle. So, I do the tight-thing and fold. What did the others have? BOTH had AJo, no pair on flop/turn/river. The cold-caller called down the 3-bettor, and I would have won the whole thing.

On a brighter note, I still made the money. I just want to, some day, be able to call down with more assurance; to be able to reach the bigger money. I’m always in on the small payouts.

Of course, being on a bad run, currently, doesn’t help. It’s amazing when you play a ton of poker, the big hands that you get at times and can still be down.

Omaha 8 or better, sometimes there are 7 or 8 people to see the flop. So I limped in, even though mid-position, with 5332 double suited. Hey, I can make a straight flush! And, I did! Turned the 6-high straight flush. Get bet into, beautiful, and I raise. Capped on the river. Do I see the Ace-high flush? Nope, A3 for the nut low. Nut low?? And he’s capping it with me? I could have had the flush AND A3 and three-quartered him! Dummy. So, big hand, but what did it matter? On the turn and river, it was just the two of us, and we split it.

Dealt pat full boat twice in the last two days in Draw high. Both times I limped in. Once, I did get raised and I was able to reraise and get a call post. The other, it was just me and the blind. Who, of course, check-folded after I stood pat.

Felicia keeps telling me that I can’t always win. Yes, true, there is variance in poker and that’s what makes the games good. There will be those times that the suckers out draw you. Like the dude that was playing every pair, every draw, and twice and get 555 dealt to me, and both times he got his 2 outer to beat me. He’s so passive that he doesn’t raise post with his trips, he doesn’t know if he’s good or not, just calls, calls, calls… It can be frustrating.

However, I did book over $1000 over the last 4 weeks, so I should be happy.
:-D <<-- See? Happy smile! This with only one good session at the casinos (during the Blogger sessions…you can read previous posts for that one). Meaning that about 80% of that was all done on my grinding at $1/2 Draw and $0.50/1 Omaha 8. I hardly played any NLHE this month. Took a break. So, if you’re having a frustrating time…those fishies outdrawing you time and again…take heart! You are not alone! Hehe. Just ride it out. It all evens out in the end. Take care all, and God bless!

Posted by Glenn

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

How about a show of support?

OK, Felicia is getting raked over the coals for providing the same candid journal that everyone has always been gratefull for.. So where's the show of support?

Before she started posting her own webpage, she had posted periodic tournament and cardroom reports and opinions on certain forums. So many people liked it that they asked her to post in this forum and that forum as well. "Can I put your story up on my website? It was just so good I want to share!" This is the type of response that she would get. Finally, one of the bloggers got her to do her own page so that she wouldn't have to be transferring her reports and stories all over from one place to the next. This she did for the readers, not for herself.

Time and again she gets flamed for stating her mind on her own personal journal, which she started for her readership, not just for her. How about some of you people that really enjoy the candid opinions letting her know? She considering stopping. I'm sure some of the readers that can't take her straight-forward, no-holds-barred approach would probably love it, even though you'll hate it at the same time. For those that would hate to see her stop, please tell her! Let her know how much you appreciate the blog. She took down comments, but you can still email her (she just posted her addy) and let her know that you'd like to continue to see her work.

Posted by Glenn

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Oh, yeah, now I remember!

Thanks to Joe and Joe from for providing pictures!!! The ol', "Oh yeah, I remember that..." was happening a lot via the pics. Great to have an event captured for future prosperity.. ok, not prosperity, more like, "A what tournament? Sonny, speak up, the hearing aids are already turned up. Oh, yeah, I recall those days, he he."

OK, first up, I'm not sure if anyone else posted about it, but the blogger to the far right, GRob, was the first to drop the hammer during the tournament! Need I say he didn't cash? Just joking :-P It was fun, though.

It was the first hand. I believe I was UTG and folded. Badblood was next and limped (AT he told me after the hand, limping in early position? -grin-), Bill was next and also limped. Then, our hero raises to 350! Remember this was first hand, blinds at 25/50. Everyone folded and, after the dealer pushed him the pot, he turns up his cards: 72o. The table goes nuts and he gets up to take a bow :)

The following picture shows Hank, Grubby and Joe (respectively). This picture reminds me that I never got to meet Grubby. I didn't even know he was there until he got busted out of the tournament and he was headed to the pit with Eva, Al's wife.

Looking at the pictures, I know now why I never got a chance to meet Grubby. Felicia and I got to meet and talk with Marcel Luske. He was talking to us about how so many tournaments don't give you enough play (either too little chips, too little time, or both).

What I also remember is that he kept talking, and talking... giving examples, etc of how you can't "play" if you have no chips. OK, Marcel, I get the point.

Can you see in the distance in this one? He's still talking... I'm looking for a way did Felicia escape? Help!

Finally! Maudie to the rescue :-D Thanks Maudie!

As you can see, now Marcel has Maudie in his grasp... sorry Maudie!

[Now, I hope you all know that I was just making fun ;) I had a great time talking with Marcel; discussing issues just like I was one of the other pros -- like I'll ever be to his level (but I will darn well try! :) ]

I thought that this was a good pic of Felicia and me as we listened to the speakers.

I even asked a couple questions:

Pauly came up after the talks, gently touched my shoulder, and said, "Great questions, Glenn", then walked away. Um, thanks Pauly, Mr. PR. You're going to be a manager one day, I can tell ;-)

Here we see Maudie all-in with AK (must have taken Marcel's talk to heart ;) and Badblood behind her massaging her shoulders.

Or was he really? Trying to give her support? Or trying to strangle her for folding that 72o the hand before... just look at that shirt:

Oh yeah, then there was Al.. raising my blind. He says "200" and puts in 400 in chips. I called for the floor. No offense Al, I haven't even looked at what I've got, it might not even be worth a min raise, but I'll get in for the cheap if I can :-D

I thought that was a good shot of me at the poker table... trying to stare down the competition so that I might be able to decide what to do when the action got to me. Then I saw this picture... do I look like I'm pregnant or what?? (Yes, that's me in the one seat.)

Finally, we have the picture of Felicia and Pauly, after he presented her with the cowboy hat that was a bonus award to the winner. I didn't post this pic for that though... I posted it because of Pauly's shirt! Get a load of that thing! It's a good thing you were in Vegas, probably the only place they'd forgive you for wearing something like that (hehehehe).

Alrighty then! Enough busting :) We all had great fun, if you couldn't tell.

Thanks again to Pauly for putting together this great time, and to Joe and Joe for the pictures!! It's great to be able to look back remember all the fun we had.

Posted by Glenn

Monday, December 13, 2004

I coulda been a contenda

Bad beat ahead... be forewarned! LOL

I'm posting this after reading Wired Aces' post "It would be different if I got outplayed..."

I'm doing well with my strategy for my freerolls, cashing in 2 of 4 last night, one of them being the $500 one for those with 500 raked hands for the week. I got $20 for my efforts of reaching the final table, and getting out drawn with the best hand, of course, why else would I be in the hand? ;-)

Now if this guy didn't know what I had, which from his play it really seems he didn't, then he really deserves the title I gave:

#Game No : 1294349705
***** Hand History for Game 1294349705 *****
Hold'em Trny:7852153 Level:13 Stakes (1500/3000) - Sunday, December 12, 23:26:56 EDT 2004
Table $500 Freeroll(159780) Table #1 (Real Money)
Seat 3 is the button
Total number of players : 8
Seat 1: Seat 1 ( $28260 )
Seat 3: Seat 3 ( $1630 )
Seat 4: Seat 4 ( $26970 )
Seat 5: Hero ( $22746 )
Seat 6: Seat 6 ( $33603 )
Seat 7: Seat 7 ( $16592 )
Seat 8: Seat 8 ( $11283 )
Seat 10: Moron ( $25916 )
Trny:7852153 Level:13
Stakes (1500/3000)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to Hero [ Ad Ah ]
Seat 6 folds.
Seat 7 folds.
Seat 8 folds.
Moron raises [3000].
Seat 1 folds.
Seat 3 folds.
Seat 4 calls [2250].
Hero raises [3000].
Moron raises [3000].
Seat 4 calls [3000].
Hero calls [1500].
** Dealing Flop ** [ 6d, 8h, 5d ]
Seat 4 checks.
Hero bets [1500].
Moron raises [3000].
Seat 4 folds.
Hero raises [3000].
Moron calls [1500].
** Dealing Turn ** [ 3d ]
Hero bets [3000].
Moron calls [3000].
** Dealing River ** [ 2d ]
Hero bets [3000].
Moron raises [6000].
Hero raises [6000].
Moron raises [6000].
Hero is all-In.
Moron shows [ 4d, 4c ] a straight flush, six high.
Hero shows [ Ad, Ah ] a flush, ace high.
Player Hero finished in 8 place and received $20
Moron wins 2754 chips from side pot #1 with a straight flush, six high.
Moron wins 51492 chips from the main pot with a straight flush, six high.
Hero has left the table.

Posted by Glenn

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The day before the blogger tournament

The day before the blogger tournament, Felicia and I made our way to Vegas early, as we combined the trip to take our Yorkie to the vet to get his teeth cleaned. Plus, the specialist that previously performed a throat surgery on Dax stated that he would find time to come over and check out his progress.

After dropping off Dax, we headed to Excalibur to check out if anyone was there yet. We found our way to Luxor and we started meeting people. Mas, we found playing 2/4, I think. Was fun talking to him and watch him folding, lol. We hung out for a little, knowing that some people stated that they were going to play the noon tourney at Luxor. Eventually, Badblood and Otis came in and we chatted for a little.

As their tourney was starting, Felicia and I ended up going to Bellagio after finding out that there were games we wanted to play going (there was 15/30 and 20/40 stud and three 2/5 NLHE games :). Once there, Felicia mingled to say “hi” to all the tournament players that she knew while I put my name on lists. We both were able to get into games fairly quickly (although I ended up in a 1-5 stud since there was a long list for 8/16 HE and 2/5 NLHE). We both found our games too tight (probably just too early in the day) and ended up leaving.

Eventually, we headed back to Excalibur and there we found everyone from Luxor, plus a few more arrivals: Pauly, Al, Mrs. Can’t Hang, and a few friends that people somehow roped into coming out. I was able to get into a 1/2 NLHE game and Felicia joined, hoping that we’d be able to somehow arrange for a strictly blogger table. I got a list set up for Omaha 8 and was able to get Excalibur to change their normal limits of 4/8 to 2/4, since most were not O8 players and just wanted to play for fun.

In the meantime, Felicia and I were tearing up the NLHE game. Those low-limit games can be really profitable if you can get some cards and hit some hands. I had AJs in the BB that held up with an A on board and a caller to the river. Felicia got pocket KK’s and, after raising to $15 or $20 pre-flop, got FOUR callers. She just shoved in on the flop and got a caller and doubled up. After seeing her get so many callers, when I found AA after a couple limpers, I made it $30 to go. I actually got one caller, who I found out later was “Big Mike”, Al’s friend, who ended up putting the last of his money in with AJo. Big Mike had suffered a hit earlier, losing with AA to a pair of Queens on the flop that eventually tripped up and he couldn’t get away from his hand. I also was able to see a cheap flop when I limped UTG with 33 and no one raised. I got a set on the flop of 3J8 and thought to myself, “OK, I don’t want a 7 or Q on the turn to complete a straight.” I over bet the pot (I think 20), knowing that people cannot lay down hands and got 2 callers. Turn, Queen. Ugh. I checked, one guy bet 25, the other called, and I called hoping to fill on the river. Some off-suit, non-pairing rag on the river and we both check-called another 25 from the same player. Turn/river bettor turned over AJo for the flopped TPTK and the other guy wouldn’t show. I tried to get him to show since I was last to act, but I didn’t want to cause too much of a stink and tabled my set. Non-shower said, “nice hand”, and mucked.

I did have one hand that didn’t hold up for me. I got AJo on the button and limped after several others. Jxx on the flop and someone bet out a nickel. With TPTK, I raised to 30. The nickel guy tried to toss in his last few single chips, but since he tried to go back for it after the call, the dealer wouldn’t allow it. I asked him how much, and I tossed in the extra 6 to put him all-in on the turn. He turned over AJs; I tabled my AJo and said, “nice hand”. Then I saw he had AdJd, and the turn had improved him to 4-flush. The river filled him in for the nut flush and I was very glad he was short-stacked. Note to beginning players: don’t leave yourself short! I pretty much always top-up if I get short. I will over buy and stick any extra chips (if the buy-in is limited) in my pockets so that I can add them to my stack later just in case.

After a few big all-in hands in a relatively short time span, large chunks of chips moving from one person to another, usually leaving one of them bust, the game started to sober up. Felicia said, “This game is dying, let’s get up at our blinds.”

I think after we got up, we went up to Krispy Kreme, as Felicia had promised Al a “tour”. I said, “What, are you going to do a ‘Vanna White’ in front of the window [where they show them making the donuts]?” When we got there, the machine was shut down, so Al said that he’d buy all the glazed they had to get the machine cranked up again. Then, I pointed out the trays and trays they had lined up, all filled with glazed donuts - all prepared for late Friday night in Vegas munches. Al: “oh, never mind.” Al ended up getting two-dozen plus one glazed (one to eat ASAP) and picked up the chocolate one that Felicia took a tiny nibble of on our way back (since they still don’t have the sugar-free donuts yet).

After we got back, Al was smoking on the rail and munching on his Krispy Kreme with Big Mike, and sharing more with others. Al really wanted to give Omaha a try so I kept going up and getting a “status” on the list. They finally got it started when I assured them that all the players that I found among our group that I had added to the list were indeed there at the time and would move to start the game. We finally got it going, completed with two locals, to make a full 10-handed game. We had fun swooshing the money around. With it being only 2/4, I’m hoping that no one got too hurt. I believe Al actually ended up in the game :).

At the start of the game, one lady had sat down, I think realized she was in the wrong game, and left. Another lady filled this empty seat, but this one got us going. During this point in time, we were expecting Maudie at any moment. Felicia remarked that the new arrival could fit the description we had for her and wouldn’t it be funny if that was Maudie pulling a fast one on us; just sitting down at our game without introducing herself. Well, she neither said, “yes, I’m Maudie”, nor, “no, I’m not, now shut up about it”—grin--but we did have a good laugh with her… While at the table, Al was downing SoCo shots. Once, upon getting a refill, set it down on the table that was sitting between him and the lady. All of a sudden the lady starts turning purple, exclaiming that she was sorry but she just drank Al’s drink accidentally; all the while fanning herself after the unexpected hot liquor was coarsing down her throat! She laughed along with us and Al gave her the rest of his water, “don’t worry about it, here, drink this.”

Felicia was trying to organize a group sushi dinner while we were playing, but only ended up getting me, Al, his wife, Evie (?), and Big Mike to go with us. We needed to get out that way as it was to pick up Dax from the vet. We picked up Dax, who was pronounced healthy and doing well by the specialist, and now with clean teeth! I had Dax on my lap in the back seat and was preparing Evie (sitting next to me) for a terrier onslaught, when Dax hopped over onto her lap! Felicia and I remarked that the anesthesia must still be working in him, lol. He even went to Al’s lap. Now we _knew_ we had a drugged up little puppy!

We finally got to the restaurant and had a time gorging ourselves on tons of sushi from the all-you-can-eat menu :) We chatted it up and had a great time. There was even a drunken party of old ladies there doing shots and banging on their tables. It was hilarious. Al very generously took the bill and wouldn’t accept anything from me for Felicia and I…thanks again Al!

After dinner, we dropped everyone back off at Excalibur so that we could check in to our hotel, get the puppy settled, and rest ourselves up for the tournament the next day. We pretty much crashed once we got into our room at Travelodge. We had had a blast and couldn’t wait to meet the rest of the crew and play the tourney :)

[See the previous post for details of the tournament.]

Posted by Glenn

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Pics from blogger tourney and some hands (edited)

OK, I suck at taking pictures!! LOL, so they didn't all turn out.. either out of focus or I moved too much when taking them.. so, of the 17 pics I took, here are only 8 that are really worthy of airing:

Before the tournament, we all met in a conference room to chat, have some bagels and coffee and listen to a couple of the pro's. I tried to take pics of them speaking, but I have a cheapo camera and no zoom.. prolly find some good pics on at some point in the future.

Here, however, is a good one with Mas (Poker Genius) and Felicia:

Once we went down to the poker room, I found myself next to Badblood and Bill:

Then "Mystery Man" and Linda:

Down table from me was Otis and Al:

You can also tell that I was in the 1 seat from this pic and, therefore, didn't have a clear pic of the other two in the 9 and 10 (and I'm sorry, I forget who was there :p )

On that first table, I really only got one good hand, JJ, that I ended up having to fold after the flop. I raised in late position to T400 (T50/T100 blinds), and Boy Genius min reraised to T800. I figured I was up against a higher pocket pair, so I just called and hoped to flop a set. Flop of Kxx had us both checking the flop and turn. He finally bet the river and I mucked, just happy for the free cards to try to out run him. {Unless he was just blowing smoke, he told me - after we were both out - that he had QQ during that hand.}

After that hand, it got folded to me again and I found suited Varkonyi and kinda tilt-raised; successfully stealing the blinds.

Al took me off of a chopper. Linda, finding really no good hands, shoved all-in with 66 UTG. Al debated and debated and finally went all-in over the top with AQo. Not really wanting to battle two all-in's, I mucked AKs. Badblood then goes over the top of both with KK. WOW, what a hand. Then Al about triples through when he spikes one of the two remaining Aces. I would have chopped, as the final board was TTATx; we both would have had T's full of A's.

I got a free play from the BB later with K5o. Flop of 234, I potted it after the SB checked, and they folded to me. My last hand I played at that table, I believe I stole the BB from Badblood with A7o.

At the new table, I found myself in about the cutoff seat, which was fine with me as I would have been button next on my last table. I folded, folded, folded. UTG I found AQs. Hmmm, I really hate this hand. I felt I debated too long and that people would know I'm not that strong and finally folded. Then I berated myself that I was "too tight, too tight, too tight!" Max was talking around and I told him to hit me or something, I just folded AQs cause I was UTG. He said, "You folded AQs?? I don't want to talk to you no more", and walked away. LOL!

I was raised off my BB and then on my SB, it was raised again and I went all-in with 77. The pair held up vs. A4s and I doubled through. Towards late position, it was raised UTG, folded to me to find TT. The guy was pretty tight and I hadn't seen him raise much so I kind of studied him. Once before I saw him raise and he was just about hyperventilating; yet this time he wasn't. I felt he wasn't as strong, so I went over the top all-in. He called, turned over AQo. My TT stood up and I now had some chips :) Which was good, as I didn't have anything else for quite a while.

At the final table, I took a chunk outta Hank (I kinda forgot about pics at this point ;) when I went to steal his blind with A7o; he defended with A6o, and with too many low cards on the board, the 7 kicker played. After that, I got no hands (ok, I stole the blinds one time with AJo ;) until it got down to 5-handed (in the money) and I got folded to in late position with A9s. As the blinds were T1K/T2K and I had T10K, any raise would commit me, so I just shoved all-in. Max Pescatori found AKo in the BB and quickly called me. His AK stood and IGHN {I-go-home-now}, cashing for $80 :p

After I got knocked out, the other short stack, Steve Hall finally got finished off and it was up to Felicia, Max and Julie:


Julie had a lot of chips at one point, but I think she was over her head a little against both Felicia and Max; she had tough competition with two really experienced players to go up against. Finally it was just Felicia and Max. They battled back and forth...

Max was the first to try to put Felicia all-in:

Then Max tried to limp in the SB, Felicia returned the favor going all-in herself:

Knowing that it would just be a crap shoot from there, Max and Felicia agreed to a chop of $450 each (1st was $600, 2nd $310); and they played for bragging rights and the final $10, shoving all-in on the last hand: Felicia with K7s and Max calling, finding AJo in the BB. Felicia ended up turning a 7 and told Max not to look, it was all over:

A great time was had by all.. a big thanks to Pauly for getting it all together!!

Posted by Glenn

Friday, December 10, 2004

On our way!

OK, we're on our way to Vegas for the blogger tourney!! :)

Seriously this time...

"OK, let's go thru this again... got the bags?"
" the bankroll?"
" the bath stuff?"
"Check... wait! I need my pillow.. you know I can't sleep without my pillow!"
"OK, get your pillow.......

OK, one more time.. we got the bags...."

Posted by Glenn

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

And now for an "intellegent post"

So after I got through posting all the pictures, I laughed and said, “I know, stupid post”. Felicia just sits there and says, “I could put you down, but I’m not going to”. Hmm, does that mean she’d like to? Hehe.

Therefore, I endeavor to create an intelligent post!

I’ve currently been reading a book that I found in a local bookstore chain. I, of course, put the book back on the shelf and searched online and was able to find the book for 1/3 of the cover price :-D. Once I finally got it, I was able to read my new (slightly used) book called “A Tour of the Calculus”, by David Berlinski, a fellow Pol.. {Why he insists on always calling it the calculus is beyond me, but he does it throughout the entire book.}

The major thing that interested me about the book is the writing. The New Your Times has a quote on the cover from a review: “Playful, witty, highly literate… a wonderful and enlightening book.” That’s the book, pretty much to the tee!

To give you an example, here is a quote that I was reciting to Felicia on our way to the car after the bookstore visit: “An irresistible inference is in conflict with an inescapable fact [Zeno’s diamond-bright little argument serving to invest the ordinary with a lurid aspect of the impossible].”

Zeno is a Greek from the 5th Century B.C. that argued to cross a room you must first cross 1/2 of the room, then 1/2 of that, and so on. In this manner, crossing by halves, you will never get to the other side. Interesting argument, but as the author points out, given infinite time, we’ll pretty well be there. Reminds me of a day in high school math class where one of the class clowns was goofing off as usual. Our teacher at the time, Mr. Seymour (old school, down to the crew cut and plastic, black rimmed glasses) was talking about some fractional progression that was very similar. He told our class clown that if he went and got a basketball from the gym and let it bounce on the floor that it would never stop bouncing, since it was always bouncing a fractional amount less each time. Well, the kid jumped right up and headed for the door saying something like, “I’ll go get one!”

Ah, Mr. Seymour. He was one of my favorite teachers. I recall one time I didn’t do the homework (math came so easy to me, I didn’t always bother to do it… most the time doing it during class) and he asked me to do a problem on the board. Duh! Well, I got up there and started doing a Pooh Bear since I forgot the formula to use: “think, think, think…” Eventually, I figured if I couldn’t remember the formula, I’d have to recreate it, because I knew he wouldn’t let me go back to my seat until I tried something. I ended up reproving the formula in a round-a-bout way, solving the problem and somehow knowing it was correct. After I got to my seat I saw him looking at the unorthodox method I took to solve the problem. He just nodded and said, “It’s the manipulation of numbers, Bagrowski.” That’s been one of my favorite quotes ever since.

But I digress (-grin-). Back to the book…

He, David Berlinski, starts talking about the natural numbers and how they go on forever, and how could you conceive of “forever” without thinking of the natural numbers? But, ah, there’s a problem with the natural numbers. Addition and multiplication work just fine, but what about subtraction? Say if you try to take 5 items away from a group that only consists of those same 5? Natural numbers begin at 1! Of course, now you have nothing, but what is that nothing called? “It required an act of profound intellectual audacity to assign a name and hence a symbol to all that nothingness. Nothing, Nada, Zip, Zero, 0.” I just cracked up over that statement: “…profound intellectual audacity…” LOL!

This sets the stage for discussion of negative numbers. Then fractions. I feel like he’s going to make sure to start from stage one to get all the way to calculus (sorry David, the calculus). Which I suppose is just as well, I’ve forgotten so much since high school and college.

Yes, I was geek enough that I took calculus in high school (ok, “pre”-calculus). It allowed me to breeze through my college calculus courses. Having only qualified to skip 2 of the 4 calculus courses that I had to take for Computer Engineering, I opted to start right at the beginning. I was able to talk my mother into this (since she was paying for my college at this point) and she knew that I could skip the first two, by postulating that I might need an easy course or two to help ease myself into college. Boy, I was right.

Of course, by the end of my 2nd year, it wasn’t college that was the problem; it was my blind drive for women. Having attended an all boys high school, and not being the most social of people, girls were just wonderfully plentiful and beautiful and, well, you know ;) It’s not that I never dated. I actually had a girlfriend in my Sr. year. I just never had any nookie! Now I was trying to catch up. Stupid. I ended up having to drop out of that college and go to the community college instead… where I ended up majoring in pool (billiards). Such a misspend youth. And now here I am playing poker!

Since I seem to have turned this “intelligent post” into nostalgic recollections, I’ll cut off my ramblings right here! Let me just end by saying, if you enjoy mathematics (perhaps you were a geek like me ;) I highly recommend this book, “A Tour of the Calculus”, by David Berlinski. He’s got a great sense of humor and an affinity with word play. And besides, he’s Polish!

Take care, God bless.

Posted by Glenn

Another Stupid Pet Pic

OK, we now own a cheap digital camera and I've been taking pictures of Felicia and the dogs. So, since I don't post much, may I submit the following into the current silence (-grin-)

introspective truvy

introspective truvy

head banger

head banger

another stupic pet pic


that's my baby!

thats my baby!

yes, I'm this boring

yes, I'm this boring

What do you want from me? I'm he one taking all the pics!!

Posted by Glenn

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Online Freeroll Strategy

Felicia mentioned something about my getting in the money a large percentage of the time on freerolls and it was requested that I post something of my strategy. Well, I don’t have any guidelines that I strictly adhere to, but I’ll give some pointers of things that I do and look for. I don’t feel that I have any earth shattering advice for many people, but perhaps some of what I do needs to be repeated to pound into the brain ;)

(Disclaimer: remember this is for the NLHE freerolls that I play; this may or may not help you in pay and/or limit tournaments, but I don’t play any pay ones online—only live—so I don’t have any experience to know if it works.)

Beginning of the tournament: Notice who is actually playing, and who is sitting out, having signed up, then forgotten about the tournament. Sometimes it is over 50%.

This is where experimentation starts. Most people are playing a little cautiously and trying to figure everyone else out. Take advantage of this and play a little looser. I don’t mean become a maniac, but marginal/speculative hands will have much more value. Additionally, if you miss, since most people are being cautious, they may not necessarily call you down either. Bet those draws, semi-bluff, do all the tricks until you start getting called down. I’ve had tables with other bluffers, who, of course don’t believe anyone else either, and have had to stop this technique right away. I suppose I could be like a lot of the others and play conservatively, folding, folding, and see how the others play first. However, using this “first strike” method, I have been able to build up chips a majority of the time for later. Conversely, this method has led to a quick ‘out-the-door’… remember I’m playing freerolls, so for me, nothing invested, nothing lost.

Once the blinds start going up, usually around the 3rd level, it’s time to start tightening the play. Opponents that you have been playing with might get confused with this as well; it’s always a good thing to confuse your competition. They’ve seen you play more hands and now you’re not. You might get more calls from these people. Many freeroll players are completely unaware, however; so don’t expect to throw off too many people.

Now that you’re playing tighter, the newer people (as many are going to be getting bumped out) are watching you play tighter. When you’re in a hand, they’re going to believe you. Yes, once again, these are freerolls and there are going to be a ton of people who don’t believe you, but heck even pay tournaments have those people, so no surprise here. However, most of the time you’ll be able to steal in later positions with weaker values. Just keep in mind who you’re trying it against. As part of the tighter play, I will NOT try to steal from a chip leader, not unless I really have something (e.g. ATo in the cut-off).

If you go for a steal, you must follow this up with a bet on the flop. I’m assuming here that you realize that by “steal” I mean that you were in a last position (button or 1 to 2 from the button) and no one else has come in; therefore, you should be-—preferably-—HU with the big blind (ok, preferably, you bought the blinds no contest, hehe), at most vs. two others. If you have more than two opponents in the hand with you on a steal attempt and miss the flop, do NOT bet. Hopefully you still have last position and if they check to you, check behind and take the free card. If you raised with a weak ace, get your ace on the flop, bet and get called… proceed with caution! Remember that it takes a better hand to call a raise than to make a bet. Unless you’ve watched your calling opponent turn over very weak hands, you don’t want to be betting a weak ace when it’s entirely possible that you’re beat. Don’t try to “bet” your opponent off his hand. You raised in late position, most people are much more suspicious of a raise from late position.

OK, betting. I stated that you must bet your steal on the button regardless considering that the above conditions were met. Now, say those conditions are met, how do you bet? The same way you always do. This means that if you’re the type of person that, if you have a monster hand, you bet bigger than the rest of the time, it’s time to change! I played some poker with my nephew this past Thanksgiving and he was hilarious… checking when he had nothing, betting just a little with weak hands, all-in when he had a good-great hand. Every time that he bet big, I just folded (to his credit, he started to realize this, but too late, I had most the chips ;). Too many people do this in their normal play. The reverse is also true, going all-in on a draw or when they’re weak. I’ve seen so many people with a premium pair < AA check-raise all-in when an ace hits the flop. What?? Check-raising ties a player to the hand; you’ve gotten them to commit chips, which normally keeps them IN. I much prefer leading out if I’ve raised, see the resulting action and take it from there.

Later play: Towards the end of the tournament I’m normally average to short-stacked. I am rarely the chip lead with my more conservative play. This may not be for most people, but after spending an hour to accumulate chips in the early stages, I don’t want to blow them by still playing loosely and end up spending that time for nothing. During the later stages I try to hang on and get into the money. If I’m short stacked, there’s really nothing else to do but go all-in if I have a good hand. There’s really no other way to protect it. If I have average chips or better, raising is the better play. Example: the other night I had average chips in the middle of the tournament. I’m in UTG (under-the-gun, first to act) with AQs and have been playing tightly. Although a group II hand, I’m not going to throw this away. I thought, heck, I might just steal the blinds with this one (if people saw how tight I was, and here I am raising… unless they have a great hand, they’re not calling). Well, this one guy that hardly ever raised went all-in for more chips than I had, and a short-stack called. Easy muck, even without the short-stack calling. I had observed the all-in player and he had only shoved before with high wired pairs. This time around he had AKo, not exactly the correct play in my thinking, but I was right in knowing that I was beat (interestingly, the short-stack had AQo… no ace, no queen dealt, I would have been out).

Once again, I just raised with my AQs so that I could have the luxury to be able to fold should someone go over the top of me. I did raise because you don’t want someone in there with a weak hand out flopping you, or chasing a straight/flush to run you down. This is a tournament; you still want to limit the field. (Another example of bad tournament play: I’m shorter stacked later on and I have JJ on the button… several limpers to me, no raise, so I shove. Caller? Early limper with KK. Flop? Axx. If I had NOT shoved, he would have allowed someone with a weak ace to out flop him. Do NOT slow play, especially in early positions.)

Sklansky: Yes, I often Sklansky my way into the money. This means that I if I’m short-stacked and close to the money, but not in it yet, I will still fold marginal hands like small pairs and weak aces (AT, AJ, sometimes AQ) in early position. Heck, if I’m close enough, I might fold it in last position, even if I’m in position to steal! This is providing I have enough chips to out last the shorter stacks. My first priority is to get in the money. If I’ve gotten this far, I don’t want to blast myself out after spending 2-3 hours getting this close. Now if you’re really short and you are in steal position, you HAVE to go all-in with those marginal hands (first to open) or else you blind yourself out, you’re that short. There’s a time and a place, monkey*!

“First to open” brings up a point I don’t think many realize. You have to be first to open (i.e. to steal with a marginal hand short-stacked) depending on your stack size, opponent’s stack size, etc. If you have a limper or more, that’s more money in the pot for it to get “protected”. If the pot’s big enough, someone might call you down for the value that they’re getting based on the pot size, regardless of how tight you might be and now here you are shoving all-in. Even if you have AA and shoving is the right move, since there are a number of people that have limped, one or more people might still call with all the money in the pot from the limping.

Once I’m in the money, I play more aggressively. I’m getting paid, that was my first goal (and the point of the tournament). Now I want to be paid more :-D All-in’s are more frequent for me. I want to get higher in the money, and the only way to do that is to build chips. If I’m already average or above in chips, then I play more cautiously, but as I stated, I normally am not at this stage.

I hope this helps. I have a vet appointment for our Dax-a-monkey so I must go now.

[* ask Felicia –grin- ]

Posted by Glenn