Thursday, July 15, 2004

Why Can't I Be Like Everyone Else?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I think I'm probably going to make a lot of enemies with this post. What is new? Everywhere I go, I make enemies.

Part of it is due to my absolute refusal to lie (white lies included) or behave in a PC manner.

Another contributing factor to my ability to make enemies is my candor. I won't hold anything in. Why should I? Is there a reason that I should not say how I feel? Will this make me feel good about myself? No, it will only make me feeling like a lying, sneaking weasel, which is how I view most other people. So it will make me feel like crap about myself.

I may not have a lot of friends, but I sleep easily at night. I can't say that about some other people I've run into during my lifetime.

Anyway, getting to poker, and the point of this post.

Did anyone ever notice that the poker community is full of scumbags? Yeah, I said it. I didn't want to say it, because I wanted to believe better of people. I met a few good eggs, so I didn't want to make some kind of blanket statement about the whole bunch and hurt the good people I've met. But DANG, the poker community is just riddled with scumbags.

I remember that I used to keep away from most people involved in the poker community. I thought they were disgusting, and just let them be. I heard too many horror stories from my Mom. I really didn't want to get involved.

Then, we retired from AOL and started playing a lot more. I met Dr. Al. Hmmm, Dr. Al wasn't (isn't) a scumbag. Could it be possible that there are also other honorable, upstanding people involved in the poker community? Yes! There were! Lucky me.

But then with the good comes the bad. Sure, I met some great poker people. Unfortunately, I met more scumbags than I can count.

The stuff that happened at the Belle is a prime example. I documented all of it. The results were just more evidence that the poker community is riddled with scumbags. But the Belle is small potatoes. Even if they wanted to, they could never compete with real cardrooms. We can forget about the Belle in this situation, they don't even count.

Not long ago, I had this idea for poker. I voiced the idea in a few places, never thinking of it being anything big. I guess someone else had other thoughts. My idea was stolen, the person took credit for it, and ran with it. Although it left a bad taste in my mouth, I wasn't really that surprised. Scumbags will be scumbags.

I think, perhaps, it is a blessing that my interview with Andy Glazer will most likely never get published. Nor will I start writing tourney reports with him and Max Shapiro. Andy was a great guy, but looking back on the last month, I truly believe that it might be for the best that my name will not get known and I will not be forced to be more active in the poker community, at large.

I'm small potatoes. I think I will stick to my itty, bitty, no-juice tourneys in Laughlin at the River Palms. That is, until I'm banned from there for something they don't want published.

Okay, so my rant is over. Let's move on to actual poker play, lol!

Since the Palms has started these new tourneys, I have played in six of them. Out of those six, I have cashed and/or won five of them. Yes, I know I'm running well. No one is that GOOD, but almost everyone gets that LUCKY once in a while :)

Here are my results:

Sat: Omaha 8, WIN
Sun: NLHE, 17th (but won a $100 bonus bounty for July 4th holiday, so still a win)
Tues: Stud 8 Double Qualifier, 2nd
Wed: NLHE, 7th
Thurs: LHE with Stud river card, chopped first
Tues: Stud 8 Double Qualifer, chopped first

Last night was Tuesday. It was a special tourney for me because a lot of the members of the WPDG came down to the Palms to check it out.

I wrote about the Palms after finding out that they had a new manager and that he was trying to really rev up the poker room. It had been dead in the water for a long time, just waiting to be closed.

Anyway, I wrote to the WPDG and Steve Evans immediately decided to organize a group to come down and visit. At the end of my post I wrote: "If you've never played in Laughlin, there is no better time to come down. It's easy money!"

Steve took that challenge personally and got a whole group together to come down to Laughlin. It was Steve's doing. I presented the new room, and Steve got the people together. He was the catalyst behind the field trip.

Although they showed up early, Glenn and I didn't even get on the road until 2:00pm. We had just made the four hour round-trip to Vegas the day before, and we'd played all day, so I wanted to sleep in and take it easy before heading out to Laughlin.

When we walked in, I was amazed at the number of people who showed up. I had expected maybe five, like before, but Steve managed to pull out a ton of people! There must have been like fifteen visitors from Vegas! Bonus! Way to go, Steve!

Glenn played cash games all day. Glenn is the ideal poker player, from management's point of view. He never complains, he'll play any game, he'll play shorthanded, he doesn't mind being moved, he doesn't mind his games being broken. He wouldn't know a pot was overraked if a gun was pointed at his head. In other words, he's a sucker.

Glenn is the nicest guy in the world, but, truly, nothing fazes him. He just doesn't care. Sometimes I wish I were that way.

So anyway, the group came down. We played, we talked, we had dinner. All of the normal social, nicey things. Not my scene, but no one was putting me into a leadership role, so I just went with it.

We got 14 participants for the Stud tourney. Awesome! A good half of them were from Vegas. I was at the quiet, serious table. The other table was laughing it up like a bunch of hyenas. I had to go over personally and tell them to be quiet once, that they were having too much fun and that all of us serious players resented their good time. Naturally they laughed at me. I thought about mooning them, but with a concave butt, that is pretty hard to pull off.

Seriously, though, they were having a good time, but so were we, just in a different way. Steve and I were at the same table, the only two experienced Stud 8 players, and maybe we just kind of set the serious tone at the table. I tried to lighten it up a little by joking around with the fishies, but most of the time, we were much more quiet than the other table.

I had tried to warn Steve that the locals in this tourney simply didn't know how to play. They would call on the river with no possible way to win (no two pair for high, no eight or better for low). They literally would call a bet, not bet as a bluff, not check-raise, not raise, but CALL. I'm not sure that he believed me until he saw it for himself.

Up until this moment, I was absolutely baffled by this play. Why would anyone call a bet with no way to win the hand? Now I just thought of a reason. You know how in HE there might be a straight or flush on the board, and someone goes all-in representing a higher straight or flush card? Sometimes they are just trying to steal the pot, and usually others know this, due to the way the hand was played up to this point. So anyway, maybe these river "callers" who have no way to win, are hoping to split the pot (the pot is split among the remaining players if no one qualifies either way). Crazy, I know, but maybe that is what they are thinking. Usually they are NOT splitting the pot.

Anyway, getting back to the tourney, I was lucky that I never had to make a rebuy. Naturally I took the add-on. At $20 for 2000 in chips, this is a good value, and I would think it would be nearly impossible to win the tourney if not taken.

It took us a long time to get to the final table, much longer than I would have expected, given the structure. I lost a big pot right before the final when I started with A23 hearts and never improved. On sixth I had no draw for low, and another player had my board beat with three eights showing.

Fortunately, the final table play went fast. The limits were prohibitive, and the players were a little more reckless than our original table. The payout was like a SNG, 50%-30%-20%. The fourth place bubble prize was a free entry into any nightly tourney.

Not surprisingly, Steve Evans, his wife Susan and I were the final three. Susan came to the table with quite a few chips, just a tad less than the chip lead (a local) in seat one. The local busted out quickly, and Susan had a gigantic lead on the rest of us. But like any tourney with huge limits versus the total amount of chips on the table, things change quickly. After busting out a couple of players back-to-back, both Steve and I survived all-in's against Susan.

Steve was the big winner, as he didn't even have to split pots with her, but scooped both times. Suddenly he'd gone from massive chip dog, to massive chip lead.

Susan was a little worried that I might feel squeezed in between the two, them being husband and wife. I told her she had nothing to worry about, that Glenn and I had been in the same position many times before, with locals just sure we were softplaying each other (this despite the fact that Glenn knocked me out of three tourneys over at the Belle). She was obviously playing to win, and so was Steve. They played against each other the same way they played against me. What a refreshing change from some of the softplaying couples and friends I've run up against before.

Once Steve took the chip lead away from Susan, she asked him if we could chop evenly. Suddenly she was a big chip dog, I had about three times the chips she had, and Steve had both of us clearly dominated. Steve wanted to play it out. I don't think this had anything to do with me or his wife, I think he just wanted to play! I can't blame him. I mean, how often is Stud 8 with a double qualifier spread tourney style in the world these days???

We battled it out for a little longer, with none of us changing ground. I think Steve stole a few pots so might have gained a bit, but that is to be expected. He was the only one who could even get through one hand, with the 4000/8000 structure, lol.

Finally Steve said that he was willing to chop evenly. We immediately agreed, knowing that I'd probably get 2nd place if we played it out, and chopping would give me around that amount anyway. Unless I got very lucky, I'd have almost no chance to get first.

After we all agreed to the chop, Susan said something to the effect that Steve should get more money than we did, being that he was a massive chip lead. I knew this to be true, but Steve had already proposed the chop and it had been accepted by both other parties. Susan is relatively new to the tourney scene, so I'm not sure that she knew that this was a bit of a tournament faux pas. I hate looking like the bad guy, but I stood my ground and was not offended in the least, knowing that things like this are bound to happen all of the time.

We did agree, wholeheartedly, that Steve should get all of the remaining bounties. This increased his prize $15, plus he got some odd chips that couldn't be split (the Palms pays out in chips, not cash money).

I had a great time playing this tourney, and getting to know Steve and Susan. Steve is a hugger who gave me a big hug as we were leaving. Thanks, Steve!

I wholeheartedly thanked Steve for organizing the whole trip. It is unfortunate that no one gave Steve credit, nor recognition for putting together the field trip from Vegas. But I knew who the catalyst was. I never forget kindnesses shown to me, unexpectedly, even when others bask in the bright light of stars who did not make contributions. Steve was the real star of the event, and I appreciate the effort and enthusiasm which he put into this outing.

Although I'm glad I mentioned the new tourneys and management of the Palms to various poker groups around the web, sometimes I think I should just keep my big mouth shut and play while the playing is good. I hate getting burned, and seeing others get burned, more than I hate the thought of unique tourneys dying out.

I'm running well. I know that. It's my turn to get lucky in these tournaments for a week or so (dare I hope for a month or more???). Lucky in cards, unlucky in my choice of poker confidants.

And so goes the burn and turn...

Felicia :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


GlennDaxshirtForgive the lack of posts recently.
Our Yorkie, Dax, had to have surgery today with a soft tissue specialist visiting Vegas. He is going to be sick for a while.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Monday, July 12, 2004

We drove up to Vegas in the morning. I wasn't sure when registration would start for the Orleans Stud tourney, but I figured if I was early, I wouldn't have to wait in line.

True enough, I didn't have a wait. I would never have played this event if we didn't have to go to Vegas for our dog, Dax, to be seen by a soft tissue specialist. Once I found out that the juice was 25%, I would have boycotted.

To add insult to injury, the Orleans decided that the small player's buffet wasn't free anymore, and everyone would have to pay for a tiny little dried out pastry or sandwich. Shame on you, Orleans, you have been stealing from players for years, and now you are stealing even more to take advantage of the poker boom.

300 people played in the Stud tourney. I was seated at a table with Chris Gregorian, who had just won the O8 tourney the day before, and is an excellent Stud player. The guy in the one seat kept looking at me as I settled down in the two seat. Finally he asked me if I was "Felicia Lee." No one calls me "Lee" except people who have read my journal, so I knew in advance that is where he knew me. He is the guy from Poker Chronicles. He had never played a Stud tourney, but did fine. I like a play he made against Gregorian. Chris was truly stumped. Unfortunately, it was during the early levels, and there was no way Chris was going to lay his hand down, if for no other reason than curiosity. I believe the play would have worked in later levels.

Glenn came over to our table and announced astonishingly that the Orleans was spreading a live Razz game. After everyone fell on the floor in shock, I got up and asked Glenn to give me a roll for the game so that I could play if I busted out.

That didn't take too long. I was dealt aces twice in three hands and lost with them both times. After that, I got nothing for a while and then finally pushed A3/Q, two spades, until I was all-in on fourth. I didn't even have a big bet left, and I wasn't going to get anted down like a chump, so I pushed it, since I was live. I never even caught a pair, and my competitor had unimproved jacks. Bah!

I hightailed it over to the Razz game. I was fourth on the list. They were also spreading Stud 8, so I signed up for that one, but we couldn't get a game going, although they called every name at least three times.

I have no idea why, but I got into the Razz game pretty fast (I say this because after I got in, no one budged. People literally sat and waited for hours, no one left. Someone even played over an eating player for an hour or more).

Lucky-ducky me, I got seat two again (like you didn't already know I like end seats and usually never get them, lol).

Seat one was a woman who immediately started asking me questions about Razz. I was shocked that someone would sit down and play it for the first time at the 15/30 level.

I recognized a couple of players. One was Oklahoma Johnny Hale. Another was a guy from the WSOP Razz sat.

Hale played pretty well. He was the only truly sneaky, unorthodox player at our table. I found out quickly that I didn't have to make any sneaky moves to get action. I have always gotten way more action than I needed or desired. Go figure. People just love to call me. I'm not complaining.

I did my usual "travel light" move of only buying in for one stack of reds, while tucking the other $500 into the rail. For once, that seemed the norm. Hardly anyone had any real chips, most were playing with hundreds. When someone needed chips, another player would sell him or her a stack. Weird that I finally sat down at a table where everyone was thinking in Felicia-terms.

I double paired or bricked up after starting with a couple of premium hands and pushing them early. I went through two stacks of red. Then I started hitting well, and made a couple of good hands. Once the table saw that I knew what I was doing, they stopped trying so hard to outdraw me, lol. Now I was just getting a lone caller or two on third, and maybe just one to the river, if he didn't brick up.

I played almost robotically-Sklansky in this game, because I could, and because it worked. There was one fish feeding the entire table. Calling with a ten or higher doorcard if he could get in for the $5 bring-in. Calling all the way to fifth through seventh even if he bricked over and over. He later said he'd gone through a whole rack of red and more, and I believe it.

A couple of other players were playing sub-optimally, also, but nothing like that guy. They got out of line a bit, just enough to play me off.

Soon I had recovered that $200, and was up.

Dave busted out of the tourney, and I wanted him to play, because the game was so good playing tight-rock-Sklansky style, but he didn't have the roll with him, and had never played Razz live. Well, jeez, neither had I, but no one needed to know that, and I can adapt to just about any Stud game successfully. I don't blame Dave though, he is playing for a living, I am playing for fun.

Most of the players behaved like the typical, ill-reputed Razz players. I refused to let them glower, however, and constantly pepped up the table by acting the cheerleader roll. That is not my personality, but I am an actor, and can play any part at the table.

For what it's worth, this was a very live Razz game. I wish I could find these games everywhere, everyday. I think Razz is my calling, lol. Oh, poor me, why do I love these dying games?

I caught very well for the entire session and ended up taking about $500 from the table. I rarely had to show down a hand towards the end, no one wanted to tangle with me, after realizing I only played premium hands, and bet the same way whether I paired up (unseen), or not.

I lost a big hand towards the end of my session which would have put me about $700 up, but he and I were very close in rank, and I had to call down that hand, not knowing who would win. In the end, he made a seven low, I made an eight. I knew it was close, but I was in a position where I couldn't fold, not knowing until I saw his hole cards who was leading. That happens sometimes in Razz, and it is a tough spot to be in. I'm not complaining, as I ran so well during the entire session that I rarely found myself in a race situation.

I had a great time, I only wish that more poker games were healthy and alive, instead of just Hold'em. If I were a board game freak, and suddenly Monopoly was the only board game in existence anymore, it would get old, fast. That is what HE is to me. OLD...FAST.

Felicia :)