Friday, February 20, 2004

Friday, February, 20, 2004

Oh, jeez, so much for my new and improved tourney strategy. I was one of the first players out of the tournament. I just had to make a move with AA9K ds and go all-in before the flop. Naturally the big blind called my 750 bet, and got the flush with two diamonds.

Glenn ragged me about my horrid play all night. This is NOT Hold'em, I didn't have that much of an advantage over any other hand. Why does he know this, yet I don't? Because I'm a super-duper-doper, smoking crack on my days off and frying my brain like Crackhead Bob. Next I'll be stripping for Howard Stern.

I railbirded Glenn for the rest of the tourney. Maybe some of that super-passive play will sink in. Naturally, he passed me up in WPT points again. So did the 5th place dude. Now I'm in 5th, lol. At least if I finish 5th I won't have to worry about playing for the media in the WPT.

Glenn got moved to a new table when his broke up. James has changed the rules for railbirds. Now we are allowed to stand around the players, we just can't engage them in conversation. So I went to stand by his table, and just happened to be standing behind an empty seat, with Betty in the seat to my right. Betty immediately gave me, and the dealer, an evil look. No surprise there, every look of Betty's is evil. She started talking about me seeing her cards. Betty holds her cards like movie poker, high up in the air, for everyone to see. Somehow she got it into her brain that I was going to see her four cards, then give Glenn some baseball signals so that he would know what to do. Um, okay. Betty folds everything anyway, so even if I was out to cheat, it wouldn't do me much good to signal Glenn. Second, I am about the last person someone should be accusing of cheating. Me, constantly trying to protect the integrity of poker. Me, constantly busting other cheaters, even if it hurts my EV. I basically snapped at Betty, "Yeah, I'm going to look at YOUR cards, Betty. Right! Haha ." She didn't even get it, she is so sure everyone in the poker room is out to get her.

I moved behind another seat, but not long after, Carl got knocked out and decided to railbird behind Glenn. I said in really loud, sarcastic voice, "Better not stand behind Glenn, Carl. You might see his cards! Shock, horror!"

So much for Betty quiting the tournaments. She is a loser, but she has decided to stick it out, I guess.

I think I've cemented my place with Betty. If she didn't hate me before, she does now. She is just sure everyone is out to get her. She even accused the cocktail waitress of serving her sour milk on purpose. What a miserable wretch. She reminds me of Vehn on 2+2.

Anyway, Glenn made a few desperation moves and stayed afloat, although shortstacked, as always. He made it to the final table, woohooo! Go Glenn! That dude can really survive playing Omaha.

The final table lineup was very aggressive. There was a lady we'd never seen in the two seat. She kept making string bets and claiming she'd never played a tournament before, nor live poker. She played every hand, and had about 16,000 in chips, lol. She had more chips than everyone on the table combined, times two! Maybe I should try that strategy.

Idiot Ali was to her left, and somehow got the idea that he could outplay her and get her chips. He didn't have much, maybe 3000. He kept raising her, and bluffing into her, until he was down to the felt. Then he would get a hand, double up, and start in on her again. He absolutely hated her. He kept laughing at her right in her face. He would turn to the rail and make fun of her to the railbirds. He would mock her voice and then turn and look at her and laugh at her. No one said a word. NO ONE. April was running the tournament, and not paying attention to the final table. I have no idea why, but she should be at the final table all the time. It's not like she has anything else to do by that time. The payouts are divided up, the extra chips are stored away, she doesn't have to move players anymore. She should be there all the time. Doug is always at the final table. Ward, when he ran the tourneys, was at the final table for every hand.

For whatever reason, people at the Belle are letting Ali make a complete fool out of himself, and run over other players and dealers. His behavior was so offensive that some of us complained. There was an elderly lady in the one seat, and she was too polite to complain. The lady in the two seat who was being ridiculed was too polite to say anything back to him, although she was obviously hurt. Ionizer Bob was still in, but didn't say anything, although he usually will not take much crap. He was having a conflict with Ali at the time about cheating (I'll address that below). Glenn was wearing his headphones and claimed he was trying to drown Ali out. Darryl was in the nine seat, across the table, and is pretty much deaf. Myself and a couple of other railbirds complained about Ali's behavior. This should not be tolerated. If Ali had acted this way towards me, there would have been physical violence.

It is the job of the tournament director, the dealer and the other players to police an offensive player. I feel that Glenn failed in this respect, by refusing to get involved. There was the honor of a real lady to protect. She WAS a lady, unlike me, and it was his duty to stop this abuse.

A "friend" of Ali's was standing behind him on the rail. This guy was looking at Bob's cards and telling Ali what to do! Bob went nuts, yelling and cursing. I tried to get April to do something about it. April, myself and another honest player on the rail were yelling at the railbird and he was trying to pretend that he was innocent. Then he got angry and started stomping around saying he didn't have to listen to us. It was ridiculous. Both he and Ali should have been thrown out immediately. The way the Belle is run, though, players who break rules are always given "another chance." Their last chance never comes.

Glenn managed to hang on to 6th place by letting the crazy, aggressive players knock themselves out. Then he made a fatal error and knocked himself out. A bad call, with a bad hand. He got sick of being bullied by the chip lead lady who played every hand, and Ali, so he went all-in against both of them, with a poor hand. He didn't get either the high or the low, and was dominated by both players. He realized his bad play instantly, almost before he said, "All-in," but by that time, it was too late, and he was sent packing, with $104.

Bob told me that after Glenn got knocked out, he brought up the idea with the lady in the two seat the possibility of a deal. She was willing to split the first three places evenly between herself, Bob and Ali, even though she had both of them outchipped at least 7:1. The fourth and fifth place players were very shortstacked. Ali refused the deal! He bragged to everyone that he could outplay her, and refused to split for about $800 each! What a dope! In the end, of course, he didn't even win third, for $400, much less first! Hahaha, the cheaters never win in the long run, do they?

When I was sweating Glenn, I got to talk to Joanee, the dealer who was in the box when Betty caused such a stink. She apologized for Betty's behavior, and then we got into a conversation. We talked about 30 minutes, and had a fantastic discussion. Mostly it was about God, so I won't go into it, but needless to say, we had quite a meeting of the minds. I had not previously liked Joanee very much, but I see that she has a lot of baggage, and we can relate on many levels. I felt very good about our conversation.

My cold is just about over, and I'm feeling much better. Unfortunately, Glenn has it now, and is hawking up loogies by the dozen, lol. These are true head colds, as the saying goes, but at least they seem to pass quickly. Everyone seems to have the same cold.

The Riverside is losing dealers daily. Now, not only do they have to pay per hour to deal, pay the cashier, prop and pay to take breaks, but they are required to pay $5.00 upfront when they enter the poker room, just for the privilege of coming in to work. This is required whether they deal a down or not. They have also hired a brush person, and are required to pay him daily, as well.

Three dealers walked out as soon as they heard the rules. Every day, more dealers are leaving. Several of them are auditioning at the Belle. I'm sure the Belle will hire as many as they can. Go Belle!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Gawd, I am way behind on my stories. This one is actually being written on Tuesday, February 24.

Before the tourney started, Don's wife came up to me and introduced herself. Don, as you may remember, is the elderly racist who exposed himself to me last week. He couldn't have a nicer wife. She doesn't even know me, doesn't play poker, but she came up to me, shook my hand, and wanted to get to know me. Jeez! Why do these creepy guys get nice wives???

I had the funniest table for the tourney. It was all seniors, and me. No one was talking, no chatting, no trash being discussed. It was silent, save a few small conversations between Carl and myself. Carl is still in the lead for the WPT, and has been playing superbly. Carl and I talked about ESPN adding coverage to the WSOP this year by taping the Razz tournament. I have never laughed so hard about anything. They choose the most boring tournament in the world to cover??? I'm surprised that the WSOP hasn't dropped Razz from the roster yet, but go figure. I guess that since they get maybe all of 20-30 total participants, they figured it would be easy to cover? Oh, well. Carl and I had a good laugh about it, then I took it even further by announcing that our tourney table must be the Razz table, since we were about as boring as that. I don't think anyone save Carl even got the joke.

I didn't do so well for most of the tourney. No big pots. No calls when I went all-in. This was a tight, tight table. We did all of 3 rebuys, lol. Most tables get about 20!

Luckily, ours was the first table to break. I got seated at a younger, chatty table. It was crowded and fun. We bounced trash off of each other and ribbed suck-outs.

I only had two blacks, so I kept going all-in. I managed to get up to about 1000, but that was nothing, when the blinds were 300/600. I went in on total trash hands in the blind. I kept sucking out.

Finally, when we were down to 14 participants left, I actually got a top quality hand. Yippee! Of course, that is the one hand that didn't win either high or low, lol. My A28K ds got counterfeited right on the flop with an ace, turned an eight, and no other low was possible. Naturally, the crap hand who called my all-in took it down with a straight. 57TK rainbow. What a champ! That hand is certainly worth a 1000 bet, lol.

I made it past Glenn, so now I have more WPT points than him and have moved into 3rd place. Think that will last? Um, no. I am way too aggressive, Glenn is way too passive. He can fold himself into points almost every night. I only get points once or twice per week. He'll overtake me in a day, lol.

Betty declared she was going to quit the WPT challenge. Um, okay...why? She has spent about $4000 on these tournaments, to get a $2500 super satellite seat that is non-cash redeemable, and now she wants to quit when we only have five weeks left???

Well, if she does quit, that will boost us up the ladder, and put someone more deserving into the WPT. What a dope!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

I was absolutely amazed that we got four full tables going for the $110 NLHE tourney. We have sometimes been as low as only 11 players. This was our biggest crowd, to date, if my memory serves me correctly.

I was given table one, the wild, maniacal locals table. I almost changed cards, but then I thought better of it.

After last night's disappointing finish, I started picking apart my NLHE tourney game at the Belle. I figured out that I'd been making a huge, fundamental error.

Several months ago I'd come up with the optimal strategy for this tourney. It was a good one. I had a high EV for these tourneys, and had become a powerful force at the Belle. But time changes things. The locals had become used to my style. They had adjusted. I hadn't. I was still playing the same "optimal" strategy, which wasn't so optimal anymore, lol. Basically I was only getting called by locals when they could beat me, or has a good chance of it. Only the tourists made bad plays against me. I wasn't doubling up anymore, I wasn't getting any action.

So I picked apart everything about my play, regrouped, and came up with a different strategy. What better way to test it than table one? Table one, the local, crazy table.

Away we went. I was in seat two, and things started to click. I played more hands; drawing hands when I could see the flop for one bet during the limit portion of the tourney. I played T9s on the button (normally a hand I would toss without hesitation). I flopped open ended. Everyone was scared to bet into me. I made the nut straight on the turn, with a four flush. No one put me on T9s.

I kept up this change for the first hour. I limped more often than I have ever limped in these tourneys. The locals kept looking at me strangely. They know I raise or fold, so what was I doing??? They were all off of their game, and playing very warily.

I must admit, at this time, that I was getting more than my fair share of pairs, good aces, drawing hands and flops that fit perfectly. It is easy to fall into a routine of saying that I was playing perfectly, and outplaying everyone. That is not necessarily the case. Although I had changed my style of play, I was also hitting very well. Only one of my river hands got cracked, 99, which is marginal to begin with.

Not long into the NLHE portion of the tourney, our table broke up. I was given seat two at my new table. There were a few locals there, mixed with some tourists, as well.

I started to go a little card cold, but I was okay in chips, due to the earlier wins. Then something extraordinary happened at my table. Here is a ruling that needs a thinking cap:

The SB was in seat one. I was the BB in seat two. The player UTG limped in for 400. It was passed around to the ten seat, who raised to 1200. Seat one mucked, I mucked. UTG had his cards in one hand, and with the other hand reached for his chips to call the raise. He had seat ten outchipped about 4:1. As he was cutting his chips to call the raise, suddenly seat ten mucked his hole cards, face up, into the middle of the table. He had pocket queens. The UTG player, with the chips in his hand calling the raise asked, "What are you doing???" I explained to the UTG player that seat ten had just mucked his hand, face up, and that his hand was dead. UTG looked perplexed by this, but shrugged and said, "Oh, okay." He mucked his hand and took back the 800 call. The dealer started pushing the pot towards seat ten!!! I immediately protested.

April came to the table, and we explained the situation. No one was telling the entire story, save me, that UTG had called the raise BEFORE seat ten mucked face up. She ruled that the pot should go to seat ten (???). I told her that the ruling was a horrible one. Why should UTG not only lose the hand, but then be further punished by losing the 400 limp, when HE did nothing wrong? Granted, he should never have released his cards, but still, we all assumed the hand was over, seat ten forfeited any right to the pot.

This was clearly a horrible decision, and since the Belle follows the TDA rules almost completely, this should never have been such an issue.

April defended her decision and dug herself in deeper by saying that, "The ten seat had pocket queens and probably would have won anyway, so UTG saved some chips." What COULD have happened is of no consequence. UTG clearly called the raise. The ten seat forfeited all rights to the pot by mucking his queens, face up, into the center of the table.


Using my new strategy, I found AJo in the BB when we were shorthanded at two tables remaining. The button raised my blind 3x. I normally would have shoved all-in, in this spot, but here I was, trying to get some equity out of the hand. I simply called.

The board came all rags and the button bet enough to put me all-in. I sensed extreme weakness, and a desire to steal. I called. Sure enough, he had A8o. I doubled through.

Soon we were at the final table. I was seated to the immediate left of the chip lead. What a great draw.

The players were a little more aggressive than most final tables, so they were falling left and right. I mostly sat out of hands, watching them bust themselves as I moved up in position.

Getting a little blinded down, I waited for a couple of spots to steal. This successfully occurred when the chip lead had released his hand prior to me, lol.

In one memorable hand, I was the SB with A2s. The BB was all-in for the complete blind. An EP player limped. The flop was jack high, and I paired my deuce. The limper bet out. I put him on a jack and released. He turned up his cards to reveal K5s!!! He bluffed into a dry side pot! I wanted to strangle him. The turn brought an ace, which would have given me two pair. Fortunately the river was a king and he got lucky, instead of the BB. The table started yelling at him, putting him down for that play. He kept defending himself by saying he put me off the best hand, and he wanted to get HU with the blind. There was NO side pot to win, you idiot! I kept my mouth closed, except to answer in agreement to the chip lead, who was asking me about the hand, and chastising the bluffer.

The chip lead was raising about 50% of the hands he was dealt, and playing well. He had more chips than the rest of us combined. I have never seen him before, but he knew proper tourney strategy. He raised my blind once. I saw A9s and moved in, as I was getting blinded away, by this time.

He had QQ, ouch! I was almost getting ready to leave, as the flop and turn brought me no ace, but then I sucked out when the ace hit the river and settled back in.

Once we were down to five, I made a move UTG. I had 88, and went all-in for 5500 in chips. I guess I shouldn't have raised quite so much, because the chip lead, to my right, was the one of the only two who could bust me, and he woke up with TT. Bah! So much for my new and improved strategy, lol!

I went home in 5th place, $190 richer, lol. Hopefully wiser? We will see next week.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Monday, February, 16, 2004

Glenn let me sleep in the afternoon, to rest up for the tourney, since I still had a really bad cold. Unfortunately, he didn't watch the clock, and I slept too late. We got to the Belle and it was swarming. We were down at least 10 on every list. Nine tables were running and we thought we would be shut out of the tourney, but just before 6pm, I got a seat at the $2-5 spread limit HE table, and got one of the last tickets. Glenn was lucky enough to get in a couple of minutes after me.

I had a run of amazing cards, and doubled my $40 buy-in. By the time I cashed out, I still had $70. Spread limit is so easy. Too bad cardrooms had to discontinue the $2-10 spread limit games, since all of the fish swam away, lol.

In the tourney, I had seat nine of table two. A redheaded guy who plays at the Belle every so often was in seat ten, and struck up a conversation with me. We talked for almost the entire tournament.

My cards were so cold that I never saw a flop for almost the entire first hour. I did manage to win two pots, both the big and small blind, lol.

My only pocket pair were fours, and they were in EP, so I skipped that hand. I never was dealt a good ace during the entire tournament.

After the first hour, I was about exactly where I started, 100 chips. I did the 500 add-on. Almost immediately I was dealt AA on the button. No one entered the pot, grrrr.

Just a few hands after that, in the SB, I was dealt QQ. I went all-in to press the limper, but the redhead, in the BB, found AKs and had me covered. The limper got out of our way, and naturally an ace flopped.

I was one of the first people out of the tourney. I think about 46 out of 50, lol.

Glenn was still in the tourney, and I watched his play for the next hour. Oooh, poor Glenn, 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. He made some atrocious plays. Once he was in the BB. The SB was a calling station who isn't a good player, but can be tricky and looks to trap. The blinds were the only players involved in the hand. The flop was checked. There was an ace on the flop. The turn was a queen, river blank. Glenn made a 400 chip bluff on the river, which was immediately check-raised all-in. The SB had him outchipped at least 3:1. Ooooh, horror! Glenn had nothing, ten high. This was such a bad play, because the blinds were about to change to 200/400, Glenn only had 600 left after paying the BB, it was late in the tourney, and the river was a blank!

When Glenn was check-raised, he had to muck. Muck with only two chips left!!! He had to go all-in in the SB with T4, and luckily, won the hand with a pair of fours. Unfortunately, this only prolonged the agony. His table was broken up, and he was seated at table one, although there were still two tables left. He was fortunate to get moved out of the blinds, so he had a few hands to make a move. He made one with A7s, Larry called from the BB in the dark, since he only had to add two chips. Glenn doubled up.

When the blind got to him, he only had two chips left again. An EP raised his blind, and he mucked 52o! I told him in situations like that, you don't even look at your cards, you just throw in your remaining chips. What good would 200 do him, when the blinds are 400/800??? He was all-in in the SB, and went home in 14th place, I believe. This was horribly painful for me to watch. He has improved so dramatically in the last few months that seeing him take a few steps backwards was awful.

My friend and mentor, Dave, used a lamer to play in a $109 UB tourney today. He played tough and hard, and won 5th place! Wooohoooo! $1300! He parlayed a $10 satellite into $1300. Not a bad day, huh? He is on a roll, because he turned around and won another UB tourney for $385. That was only a $5 entry! Go Dave!