Saturday, March 20, 2004

Proposed Structure for PJK Tourney

Here are some game structures I am kicking around for the PJK weekly tournaments at Planet. Planet has agreed to a $19+1 buy-in/entry fee. Awesome!!!! Feedback appreciated.

Ante Blinds

1st Level $25-$50

2nd Level $50-$100

3rd Level $75-$150

4th Level $100-$200

5th Level $200-$400

6th Level $300-$600

7th Level $400-$800

8th Level $600-$1200

9th Level $800-$1,600

10th Level $1,000-$2,000

11th Level $1,500-$3,000

12th Level $2,000-$4,000

13th Level $4,000-$8,000

Players start with $2000 in chips. Levels are 15 minutes. Ten parcipants pays top two. Eleven through twenty pays top three. Twenty-one through 40 pays top four. Forty-one and above pays top five.

Prize percentages are: Top two: 75%-25%. Top Three: 50%-30%-20%. Top Four: 50%-25%-15%-10%. Top Five: 50%-20%-15%-10%-5%

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Thursday, March 18, 2004

"When you get a flop that you should like and still can't bet, it probably means that you should have folded before the flop." --Mason Malmuth

I was very confident after my win on Tuesday. I felt in control, even about Omaha, which no one has much control over, lol.

Darren was in the poker room for the tournament. You'll have to read the archives to find out more about Darren, but I'll give you a little teaser. Darren is the player who won over 100k in an Orleans Open event last year.

Once again, Darren lifted up a $1 chip to see if I wanted to do a last longer bet. This is my tenth or so LL bet with Darren, and he has won all but one! It is kind of funny because Darren is a much more volatile player than I am.

Anyway, I played in the tourney and had a fun time. My table was mostly tourists, and I got to know quite a bit of them. We chatted it up, since there was nothing better to do.

After a couple of hours, I started getting some super crummy hands. I got blinded down and had almost no chance of winning. I hate it when the tourneys get to this point. It gives me that awful, dreadful feeling of helplessness that I despise.

Finally, with just two chips left, I went all-in with A55Ks. I was only against the blinds. Naturally neither my high, nor my low were good enough.

Ironically, I went out at the same time as another player. We were 21st and 20th to go out. He had more chips than me, but is not involved in the WPT challenge. I went over to sign the form for points, and the whole table started screaming at Doug about how the other man had more chips than me, and technically I was 21st, so therefore I should not receive points.

This really hurt me. I mean, NONE of those people were even IN the WPT Challenge! The only reason they even knew it was going on is because Doc Campbell and I had talked about it at the table before he got eliminated.

They were so bitter and mean that they had to make sure to tell Doug that technically I was 21st. That is true, I'm not disputing that at all. Doug said that he would have had me sign for points, because Mr. 21 wasn't in the challenge, nor was anyone else at my table, but because the whole table started screaming at him about it, he had to sign me off as 21st.

I'm certainly no cheat, as I think I have proven time and again in the past, but this really stung. Who are these people? What consequence to they have in the WPT challenge that would make them yell and scream to Doug about my position?

At first I was completely baffled, but then I quickly realized why people are always so ready to stick their necks into my business. Tourists don't like a serious, confident player at the table with them. Tourists don't like someone who is "not" playing for fun. They hate having their blinds raised, they hate someone raising them all-in. They want to play kitchen table poker, and I am preventing them from that.

So they are happy to see me knocked out, and cheer, and make sure that I don't get any points, even though they aren't even in the competition.

I have always tried to get to know the tourists, make friends with them, make them as comfortable at the table as possible. Maybe I'm just wasting breath. They hate me anyway. What's new!


Remodeling of the poker room has begun and is in full force! We will be putting in two new tables. Maybe three, if James can rearrange things and squeeze more in.

He had initially said the addition would be non-smoking, but has now changed his mind and decided to let players smoke in the new area, which is nuts, since the ceiling is lower.

Something is going to have to give with the smoking issue. It is one of the few things that doesn't bother me, but even I know that it is ridiculous to have a smoking poker room in an area where there are about five regular smokers and 90 non-smokers. Almost no one smokes in Laughlin! Most of the locals are senior citizens and can't smoke. Sometimes we have a jam packed poker room, almost 100 people crowded into this tiny room, and only about five, on average, are smoking.

James said he has gone to the management of the Belle about the issue, even presenting them with a petition, but they will not budge.


There is a new promotion being offered as soon as we finish this WPT challenge on March 31. I was hoping for a bit of a respite between promotions. I wanted a break. Playing four tourneys per week for FUN and money is fine. Playing four tourneys per week for an ongoing competition is like WORK. Bleeech, yes, I said it, the nasty four-letter word.

Anyway, I found out we won't even get a week before the next competition. But at least the next competition is better than this one. James learned from that mistake!

This next competition is as follows:

Points will be given for final table appearances only. First through tenth place (this will prevent Betty from winning again, by folding her way into the top 20 every tourney). This will reward aggressive play, not timid, passive play.

The top twenty point leaders will have a tournament on May 16, 2004 for a $5000 prize pool.

First: $1900, second: $1000, third: $600, fourth: $375, fifth: $250, sixth: $225, seventh: $200, eighth: $175, ninth, $150, tenth, $125. 11th-15th, $50 gift certificate. 16th-20th, $25 gift certificate.

As you can see, this is a much better promotion. First of all, it only lasts six weeks. No four month competition. Second, only the final table gets points, so passive, timid play will not be rewarded. Third, we win real money, not a tournament seat at a bigger tournament.

The only disappointing thing about the whole setup is that I wanted a vacation when the current one was over, which is next Tuesday. Now they are throwing us right back into another competition. Blah!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Tuesday, March 16, 2004--Part II

As soon as I finish this entry, I'm going to start working on our weekly tourney. The PJK tourney. Planet has been overly gracious to us, letting us decide the time, the buy-in, the structure, the limits, the payout. Even the juice! Go Planet!

Unfortunately, it is already Friday, March 19, and we had originally hoped to start the weekly tourneys on Sunday. Today is the first day I've had my PC again, since the great virus crash, I think I need more than two days to sort out the best tourney for us. Forgive me, I need another week. I want the best setup in the world for us. If you are disappointed, kill Hank!


One of the great things that clicked at this final table for me, was knowing how the players played. I had been seated at both tables, before the final, so I got a chance to look at every finalist. That doesn't happen very often, when it does I count myself lucky.

There were some extremely aggressive players. One guy is a frequent visitor to Laughlin named Mike Mohammed. He is an LAP. He bumped me out on Monday's tourney (which I haven't written up yet, btw), with QQ. Since he was playing just about every hand, I couldn't put him on a premium hand. Not that it mattered anyway. I had 3 chips and the BB was 2, I was going all-in with any two cards, I didn't even look.

Getting back to this final table, though, I knew Mike M. would be able to double me up, if I got desperate, by a simple limp re-raise, or some other tactic that I often employ against a very LAP. Mike was in the seven seat.

The only really decent players were JJ, in the four seat, and a visitor in the eight seat. The visitor was a lot like me. Downplayed his knowledge of poker, didn't act like he knew what he was doing (without putting on an act of innocence, just by not "advertising" that he knew proper tourney strategy). He was the one I had to watch.

Peggy, the female half of the lesbian couple Pat & Peggy, was in the nine seat. Peggy is super tight, and way too timid. Another woman, from Alaska, visiting Laughlin, was in the three seat. She had been shortstacked almost the entire tourney. I played at her table for most of it (table three), and she was clearly nervous, not used to casino play. She says they play home tourneys in Alaska every week. She took a long, long time to make decisions, but she had some sense. Yes, sometimes she zigged when she should have zagged. I would have gone all-in numerous times when she chose to fold and leave herself almost broke (one time she folded pocket eights to an all-in raise, six-handed, in the BB). But all-in-all, I had to admire her tenacity to hang on, with a short stack, for hours, when it was her first live poker tourney.

The two seat was a guy who had no clue. Those are sometimes the most dangerous players at the table. I will speak more about him as things progress.

I went for a whole rotation without playing a hand. Since I was in the ten seat, I got to check everyone out carefully without having to post a blind. Things were super tight, and we never saw one flop. No one wanted 10th place money, which was only $88, not even enough to recover the buy-in and fee. Naturally, this made stealing the blinds a priority, and usually the first one in, was the first one to steal.

I got my chance with ATs when it was passed to me. No one called and I stole enough to pay my blinds.

The first one out was the Alaskan girl, who hadn't played a hand. She let both of her blinds be stolen during the first round, then had no choice when the blinds got back to her. She was all-in with a crap hand, and had to stand up against AQ, I believe. She took her $88 with a huge grin. First live tourney, made the dough. She was happy.

Peggy was too timid to make many moves. She threw away a lot of hands I would have gone all-in with. She busted out as soon as she was blinded away. She was the BB, I was UTG with AJs. I tried to give her some protection by going all-in. No one called. She had some junk hand like 83o and I caught a jack. After she left the table, she was telling Pat and Glenn how she mismanaged her final table play. I agree, but I have a lot more experience than her.

I was becoming a force by this time. Although playing in the ten seat sucks in live tourneys, I had such good control over these players, and kept up so much pressure, that I was continually building my stack. I sensed fear in most of the other players. Fear of being the next one bumped, fear of not making the "big" money (1st-4th). Fear of me.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to be the first into the pot in many instances. I either raised enough to put the blind all-in, or just went all-in myself. I stole lots of pots with utter crap. My reputation was enough to scare players like JJ to get out of the hand, and my dominance, combined with my self confidence, was enough to get the strangers to lay down much better hands.

The new guy in the two seat was very unpredictable in his play. It seemed like his first tourney ever, but who knows. He would go from the felt, to the chip lead. He played most hands, but would lay down his hands to an over-the-top raise. He also laid down his blinds to pressure. I started stealing his blinds frequently. Basically any pair, any ace, any suited king. For whatever reason, he didn't want to call me. I thrived off of him, more than any other player at the table. He and I were soon co-chip leads, although at any given time, he would be down to the felt once again, lol.

After Peggy was eliminated, I was able to scoot a bit closer to being in the nine seat, versus the ten. I can't stand not being able to see everyone. This was much more advantageous for me.

Players started busting out as the blinds increased. I mostly just sat back and stole off of the medium-short stacks, the guy in the two seat, and other timid players, while letting others pick off the desperate all-in's.

In one key moment, Mike M. was put on tilt by a couple of bad beats. After that, he was just throwing away any chance of winning the tourney. Good for me! Finally he went out, I believe in 5th or 6th place, by going all-in as a shortstack with AA. The unpredictable guy in the two seat had TT and called the all-in. I had Tx in my hand. Like many unbelievable poker moments, the case ten hit the flop, and Mike was gone.

Then, the worst thing happened to me. It was late, and I was used to busting out early and getting home in plenty of time to monitor my diabetes. Well, the tourneys are lasting longer than ever now, due to the increased 20 minute levels. It was late, this tourney had ran slower than normal, due to the 1000 chips we start with vs. the 100 in the rebuy tourneys. Anyway, my blood sugar fell out from under me. Thank God I caught it quickly, so that I didn't lose much of my judgment during play. Glenn helped me bring it back up (I use protein, not sugar, if I can help it). It took a while to feel completely "normal" again, but I didn't make any mistakes during this time that I can remember.

I was pretty much in "the zone" during all of the final table play. I kept thinking to myself, "You are going to win this thing, you know!" I wasn't saying it to pump myself up, to give myself courage, but more as a matter-of-fact way of thinking. It just seemed right. I was the best player, they all acted scared of me, I had a lot of chips. So okay, I'm going to win.

Player after player got eliminated. I was shocked that the player in the one seat became so timid after playing pretty aggressively during most of the evening. He let himself get blinded down, after taking a bad beat. That happens to quite a few players. So once I saw how timid he had become, I kept raising enough to put him all-in whenever he had a blind (big or small, didn't matter). It wouldn't make a dent in my chips if he doubled up through me, but he was folding to almost any raise, and seemed to fold to me more often than anyone else! Finally he had to go all-in, and was eliminated.

The eight seat was a good player, like I've said before. He and I had always stayed out of each other's way. He had a real chance to win, even though he didn't have nearly the chips that the two seat had. Then he got trapped. I was the trapper, although the two seat is the one who gave me the opportunity to trap altogether.

Like I said above, the two seat had probably never played a poker tourney in his life. He played way too many hands, played them too far, made string bets and raises, seemed extremely nervous, never looked at anyone, only the board, and let me steal his blinds like mad.

He came in UTG trying to raise. He put out a stack to call, then "went back" for another stack. No-no. Both the eight seat and I objected. I was in the BB. I hadn't seen my cards yet, as I always look at players looking at their cards before I look at my own. Had I known that I had AKo, shorthanded, I wouldn't have said JACK about the string raise, lol, but I didn't know that I was going to wake up with a premium hand.

Anyway, the way things worked out, I got the best end of the bargain. The eight seat wanted to call, too, which is probably why he was so vocal about the string raise not standing. I don't know though, he might have objected in any case, he knew what he was doing, although I've never seen him before and have only this tourney to judge.

Had the raise stood, and had the eight seat not limped in, I would have gone over the top. As it was though, I saw AKo and got an opportunity to do some trapping. Was this shooting an angle? Naw, but I was taking advantage of an opportunity which doesn't arise very often.

My king hit the flop. Even knowing that the two seat had meant to raise before the flop, I still bet. He quickly folded (???), but, to my surprise, the eight seat called! He had KJs and didn't get help. Now I was the chip lead again.

This was the turning point of the entire final table.

JJ made a few moves, and stayed alive a lot longer than most people in his position would have survived. JJ is not a WCP, but he isn't stupid, either. He knows proper tourney strategy, as I have said many times before.

Finally JJ made a move UTG with A5s. A great hand with only four players left. The guy to my right, in the eight seat, cheered when the two seat called, because he only had about six chips left, and could sneak into third if JJ got eliminated. The two seat was wired, and they stood up.

Some of the railbirds thought JJ was mad at me. He was kidding me about stealing so many of his blinds, and the 75o all-in fiasco. It was just good natured ribbing, but since JJ is Korean, a lot of people misunderstand his intention. I apologized to JJ for seeming to "pick on him," but the matter of fact was that I was just getting the right all-in hands at the times he was in the blind, trying to survive. It was purely a coincidence. It would be in my best interest to keep JJ alive, not the guy in the two seat. I know JJ, I know his style of play, I know he is going to make a fair deal if it gets down to us two. He is predictable, not someone I want to break, necessarily, when there are better fish to fry.

Anyway, after JJ got eliminated, he came over to me and patted me on the back, telling me to win, not to make a deal, to keep playing well, etc. He railbirded the rest of the tourney and constantly cheered me on from the rail, as well as several other locals, railbirds and busted out opponents. Friends are great to have!

The eight seat went out in his BB, the next hand. He more than doubled his prize money since JJ went out with 10x his chips the previous hand. He was grinning like the cat who ate the canary. I shook his hand and told him what a great game he played.

Now I was head's up with the two seat, who was clueless, but who had eliminated so many players that he had about 20,000 in chips to my 15,000.

We volleyed back and forth a bit. It was so hard to get a handle on him. On the one hand, I had a huge advantage, because he always looked at his cards first, and never looked at me. I was always last to act, in that sense, even when I had to act first. He had a hard time hiding his tells, and was jumpy and scared. On the other hand, though, I had a huge disadvantage. He had a lot more chips than me. He was truly unpredictable. He made some crazy moves, out of what seemed just intuition or feeling. My blood sugar was off.

I moved to the nine seat, he was in the two. I watched him like a hawk. I had to throw away too many hands BTF with junk like 83o, 74o, T2o. The rest of the hands I went all-in with. I tried to just limp once, to see how he would take this. It was Q6o, and he raised the minimum. I didn't try to limp anymore, lol.

He had a hand when I was the SB. I didn't know what it was, but he had it. He went deathly still and stopped breathing. I looked down to see A2s. I didn't know what he had, but I needed chips desperately, so I was going all-in no matter what. I was down to 8000 by a string of horrid starting hands (even for HU play), and uncalled all-in's (he never called my all-in's, not once the entire tourney).

So I went for it, knowing this might be the last hand, but knowing I wouldn't play it any other way. I had to get lucky.

He yelled out, "Ha! I was just waiting for you. I was hoping you would say "all-in" when I had a hand to stand up to you!" He called quickly and turned over KK. He smiled a huge crap eating grin. I wasn't going to tell him that I'd have gone all-in even if he'd flashed KK before I put any chips into the pot.

I told him, "Wow, I've got to get lucky," or some such drival. I did get lucky, I flopped both an ace and a deuce. He got no help. Now I was up to 16,000 and he had 19,000. We volleyed back and forth a few more hands. April and some of the railbirds were trying to hint around to him about a deal or a save. I didn't want to say anything because I was shorter stacked than him, and don't really feel that is good etiquette, and also I felt like I was the much superior player of the two of us. But my blood sugar kept rearing it's ugly head, so I was a little scared that I would pass out at the table or something, and be completely embarrassed. So I wasn't necessarily opposed to talking about a deal or save.

He seemed to have no clue what we were talking about, and I gently explained to him what deals and saves were. He wasn't sure about it, and I didn't want to push him. So we kept playing a few more hands.

He kept pausing in between each hand, looking at me, looking at my chips (he still never looked at me during the actual play of the hands). He got more and more nervous as he realized how much better a player I was.

We were sitting at around 14,000 chips vs. 21,000 chips when he asked me, "Do you want half? I'll give you half right now."

I accepted because I was worried about my blood sugar and his having so many more chips than I did. The difference between first and second was almost $600, but the difference between splitting first and second was only a little over $200. I figured I'd take the money and run, better player or no.

Sometimes I make these deals and people write me saying what a mistake I made. While this may be true in typical circumstances, nothing about me is typical, lol. I am always worried about Diabetes. I think about the blinds compared to the total number of chips on the table, etc. We were already up to 1500/3000 blinds, and the total number of chips on the table was 35,000.

So I chopped, after two months of not making a NLHE final table. Yippee! I feel on top of my game again. I like being in control, lol!

I got first in WPT points, but I am still about 400 behind Doc Campbell, so unless a miracle happens in the next couple of weeks, Glenn will be playing in the WPT at Bellagio next month, not me.

One of the things I enjoyed about this tournament more than many others I play, was the comeraderie at the final table, as players busted out. Although players don't clap here, like they do in Atlantic City, we were all shaking each other's hands and doing back pats. Everyone was behaving very well, and I think I started the trend on Tuesday night.

I wish every final table at the Belle was this well behaved. It takes a lot of courage and luck to make it that far, and although the players at the Belle aren't the best players in the world, I like to make them all feel special when they get in the money. Kudos to the players who were at the Belle with me on Tuesday night. I am proud of you all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004--Part I

(Sorry I have been MIA. My PC got a nasty virus. I was always told that as long as I didn't download anything, I would be safe from viruses. So I had very little protection on my PC. Lo and behold, a certain website was a scam for most viruses; malware, adware, spyware, etc. I let one in, and boom, my entire PC was taken over. For two days I tried to save it, but in the end, I decided to just start over. I am finally running properly again, so here is my latest story. Part II will come tomorrow.)


Sheesh, I go from the worst tourney streak to a good one in the course of one tourney to another. Poker is so strange.

Tuesday is the $110 NLHE tourney. Even though we start with LHE, I still call it a NLHE tourney because for the bulk of the the time, we play NLHE. The "real" tourney starts after the first hour, and that is when I usually start playing. No, I'm not going to fold premium hands in the first hour, but I do play more cautiously and know that I will get outdrawn quite a bit.

After the last two months, I felt like my NLHE game was in shambles. I simply could not win a hand post-flop. Sometimes I would go all-in pre-flop (with a short stack, out of desperation or a feeble attempt not to see the flop), and win, but if we saw a flop, I was toast.

At times, I would become so shortstacked that I would go all-in with something like AA, KK, AK, QQ, to get called solely by the BB, who only had to call a chip or two in order to see the river and take a chance of putting me out. For the last two months, playing two hold'em tourneys per week, I had lost every one of those showdowns. It seems impossible, to run that badly, but it happens. Tourney pros talk about it all the time, not winning a tourney in years. Not even cashing for several months. I know it is possible, but when it is happening, it just seems absurd and unbelievable.

Anyway, let's go to the Tuesday night NLHE tournament. I had no high hopes, I had abandoned any thoughts of winning showdowns, getting into the top 20, or the final table. My morale wasn't so hot, even with the turnaround of the last few tourneys (WBT II online Wednesday: 5th place. Omaha8 Thursday: 5th place. O8 Friday: 8th place).

I drew table three. Most of the participants were tourists, which is strange, because the $100 tourney usually has locals. I remember when we first started playing the $100 tourney weekly, instead of monthly (I won the last monthly tourney, and got the last trophy, btw). We couldn't get participants. Sometimes we played just one table! For weeks we never had more than 20 players. Now it is almost selling out! This is the only Belle tourney that doesn't add the $500 from the BBJ drop. So there is not as much extra incentive to play, yet they keep coming, in droves!

Table three was loose/passive. I lost with K7o in the BB when I made two pair. The SB had K8 for a bigger two pair. Then I lost AKs when two jacks flopped. Someone had QJs and had called my raise. Next I lost with QQ. I got six callers when I raised from the button. An ace flopped. There was a bet and a raise before it even got to me, and I laughed as I laid it down.

I figured that things were going as I'd come to expect. I played AQo and split the pot with another ace, when two pair were on the board. AKo won a big pot when I raised before the flop in EP, got a call by the BB, flopped two aces, and he paid me off all the way with A9o. I was back to my original 1000 chips.

On the last hand before the break, Maureen was dealing and tried to put me into the SB, when I hadn't paid the BB yet. Once again, we argued about it. I finally just sighed and said, "Maureen, why would I put myself in the worst possible position by making this up? I swear to you, I was just UTG." Finally the ten seat came to his senses and said, "Yeah, she's right, I was just the SB, I should be the button now." Thank God someone spoke up.

Some people have confronted me about the "mistake" of speaking up when I get out of paying a blind. They say it's not taking unfair advantage or angleshooting. Maybe some people can let the dealer move the button twice, or another player to move the button, then the dealer, and not say a thing, but I just can't. I don't think it's fair. It's hard enough to win a tourney, let alone if one is unfairly put into the blind a hand too soon.

A very LAP in EP raised my blind. I had KTs and decided to see the flop, as the greens would be colored up soon anyway (we don't race off, we just color up), so basically folding and calling were about the same thing.

A ten-high flopped. To my surprise, the SB bet right out. I passively called along with the pre-flop raiser. A king turned. This time the SB checked, I bet, and they both folded. Go figure!

Now I was trucking along at about 1400 at the break.

Right after the break I got AKo and went all-in. No callers.

For the next hour I was dead. No good aces, no good kings, no pairs. Not even pretty, little ducks. So I got blinded down.

For those of you who have forgotten, during four consecutive levels, our blinds double. We do: 25/50, 50/100, 100/200, 200/400. Since we only start with 1000 chips, and this is a freeze-out, those four levels are usually the difference between life and death. If you can double up at least once, and had about 1500 to start with, you can usually make it. If you don't find a hand, go all-in, get called and double up, you are almost assuredly not going to make the final table. It turns those 80 minutes into a crapshoot. You absolutely have to get a hand, and get called, and win! Just a small feat there, lol!

Anyway, I didn't get a hand. I did catch a lucky break at the 200/400 blind level, as April moved me from the BB to the CO at the other table. The new tourney rules at the Belle state that if a player is moved, they will be moved from the worst possible position to the best possible position, but they will not be the button. This seems ridiculous, I know. The way they used to do moves was relative to the same position. Then someone would get moved a few times in one tourney, just by coincidence, and gripe and moan about it. So now the person who gets moved gets a much better position, but at the same time, if one gets moved two or three times during a given tourney, he gets to sometimes squeak into the money undeservedly. I have been in that position before, making a final table when I didn't even have a prayer. It's not really fair at all, but it keeps the gripers (Betty) quiet, at any rate.

When I got to the other table (table one), they were shorthanded, hence the reason I was moved in the first place. I got to see a whole round of cards with my final 700 in chips. I got trash hand after trash hand. The BB was 400, so when it got to me, I knew I was going all-in no matter what. We were down to the final 15 or so, and I had to double up, in order to be a contender.

I had J9o. It was passed to the SB, who completed. He had me outchipped, but not by a huge amount. He called my all-in raise of 300 more. I flipped over my hand and said, "I don't have much, but I have to take a chance here." He said, "Um, I have even less!" He had 98o, lol.

I got a jack, and doubled through. Just a few hands later, I went all-in with ATs in EP and stole the blinds. I now had a few chips. The table was much more aggressive than my last table, and I generally have more success stealing from aggressive tables than passive tables.

Then, April, oooh, that girl! LOL, she moved me back to my first table. I proceeded to get nothing for several rounds. Once again, I started getting blinded down. Finally, in my BB, I had to put in 800 of my remaining 1100 chips into the pot. I was dealt 75o, but told JJ, who knows proper tourney strategy and raised my blind, that I had to go all-in. He had Axs, which is a fantastic SH hot & cold hand, but I got a seven, and doubled through again. He knew I had to make the call, but teased me about it all night, nevertheless. He is a really sweet guy.

Just a few hands later I went all-in with AQo and stole the blinds. Then, in the next five hands, I was dealt both QQ and JJ. I got the blinds both times. Now I had some chips!

I made the final table with about 3500 in chips. I told Ed that the only thing that could make me happier was if I drew seat ten. Seat ten is always the button at the final table.

I drew seat ten. I sat down with a smile.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Monday, March 15, 2004

Tripping into the poker room, fresh from my two consecutive cashes of last week, I had a pretty good attitude. I was still wary of Hold'em, but at least I had placed 5th in the WBT II, and sat at two final Omaha 8 tables.

So no, I didn't expect to win, or even cash, but at least the two month drought was over.

RC was at my table. Sometimes I think he has simply lost his mind. In one hand, an EP player raised (probable AK). I called with 99 (this was in the very first level, but I should have re-raised). Stand-up-Jack went all-in. RC called the raise and the all-in from the SB. The flop came 62x, all low. RC bet. I couldn't figure it out. The turn was another deuce. Surely he didn't call BTF with a deuce in his hand???? When the dust cleared, Jack had JJ, I had 99, RC had 62o! Yes, he really did call all of those bets, out of position, with 62o.

In the first hour, I was dealt QQ, KK and KK. The last KK was busted by 99, and I had to make a rebuy.

After that, I didn't win a hand. Our table broke up, and I went to another table, which was more aggressive than my first. I still never saw a playable hand. There were a few times I would have gone all-in BTF, but at least one person beat me to it. They were marginal hands, like ATo, A9s, KJo, but I was desperate, and needed chips.

Ironically enough, I would have been eliminated with all of the above hands. So I help out a little bit longer, but I really didn't have a chance.

Finally I had to put 2 of my three remaining chips into the BB. I told the guy to my right, who also had just 3 chips left, "Well, if no one else comes in, it is either you or me." I don't think he got my meaning. I don't think he knew proper tourney strategy.

I went all-in blind. Believe it or not, three other players were in the pot! Two others were all-in, and one had a mountain of chips. The guy with the mountain is Mike M. He is a LAP. This time he really had a hand, QQ, which stood up. I had 85o in the BB, lol. I made a pair of eights, but the last time I looked it up, queens still beat eights!

JJ has taken to calling me 'honey.' He asked me if I minded being called 'honey.' I told him, "Not at all! In a little male chauvinist pig kind of way, it is actually quite nice." He roared with laughter and the table got a kick out of it. JJ and I get along very well. People don't understand him, people don't understand me. Two outcasts united in the world of poker. Things like these are what I live for.