Thursday, January 12, 2006

Comments From PLO8 Tourney

I want to go out of my way to apologize for some things I said on Wednesday. Not for telling so-and-so, "Your blog sucks!" either. LOL.

During a tournament, there are rules set in place to attempt to ensure each player receives as fair of a shot as he can get.

While poker is never going to be completely on the level, or 100% honest, poker rooms do try to ensure as fair a game as possible.

For instance, if two "friends" are sitting at the same table, and the other players start to notice that while they are in a hand together they are raising and reraising players in between them (jamming), they might call the floor over and ask to see both players' holecards after the hand is over. Usually, when this occurs, one player has a premium hand, while the other holds a piece-o-cheese that in no way fits with the exposed cards (board cards in Stud games, flop cards in HE games).

Another way that cardrooms try to keep the games fair, is disallowing some types of talk during live play and/or tournaments.

Most tournaments these days use TDA rules.

Stars uses most TDA rules verbatim. Of course, there must be some additional rules for online play, but the general gist is the same.

In the beginning of the tournament, I was distracted by the whole bloodwork FUBAR. I was chatting with my Dad on Yahoo IM. I was also talking to Glenn and not paying much attention to the game.

A couple of times I "gave advice" to players in the first hour. Not while actual hands were being played, but later. This is not directly against tournament rules, per se, but it is not fantastic etiquette either. A case can be made that I gave everyone the same advice, although I was addressing one, particular player. A case can also be made, on the flip side, that I was giving a player advice on a particular hand just played, so he, in all actuality, received more specific advice. It is a fine line.

While some readers may think I'm being a little extreme, and hard on myself, the fact remains that it would have been better altogether not to speak about any hands. Not before, during or after play of said hands. Not to even speak, period, about how to play a tourney (not because it is unethical, necessarily, but because it's just stupid).

I've seen players "coaching" other player in every type of event, from the lowest payout freeroll all the way up to 10k buy-in events. This is simply dumb. Why would a good player want to "teach" worse players? But for whatever reason, this remains the case.

In my particular faux pas, I will make no excuses. It was in poor taste, and I will try never to repeat the mistake.

My apologies to all involved.

Felicia :)

Bloggers PLO8

Well, our DSL is pretty much down, so I'll take this opportunity to talk about the PLO8 tourney last night.

First, thanks for hosting it, Jax.

I didn't know if I was going to play or not. I had to go get some labwork done in town. That turned out to be totally FUBAR, because I went to three different labs and still couldn't get it done!

My veins are kaput. Even after being off of chemo, they're simply collapsed, and no good. Now, do you think any normal, vaguely human (or humane) doctor could have just taken a look at my arms during my oncologist appointment and figured that out before he sent me all over town? You'd think, right? But not MY kind of doctors, oh no. The kind I get stuck with willingly send someone with collapsed veins out to get bloodwork. Lucky me!

At any rate, you can read my bitterness. So I wasn't in much of a good state when I returned home a few hours later. Then my Dad got online and we started talking about it. He got upset, too, having watched my brother almost die from Hodgkin's Lymphoma and somehow feeling I, too, have some kind of systematic cancer (I don't), and am going to die if I don't get help.

So he got me even further worked up. And it was in this state that I entered the PLO8 event. I shouldn't have played.

During the first hour, my Dad continued to IM me with distress. He was hurting, and I'm happy that our relationship has gotten so good, but it definitely distracted me from paying attention to the tournament. I called down some pot sized bets and raises that I didn't have much chance of winning. I figured I'd probably get knocked out quickly and just go on with my night.

Although I kept going in, and usually came out scathed, I still survived (barely). I should have been eliminated for my lack of focus and stupidity. Then I started catching, scooping a few pots, and didn't look back.

Once my Dad signed off of Yahoo, I was able to focus a little better. My anger abated somewhat due to the passing of time, and the good camaraderie during the tournament.

I caught many lucky hands (not necessarily great starting hands, nor necessarily great flops, I just scooped more than my fair share of pots).

Tournaments are extremely luck-based in the short term. I always try to make sure that newish players know this. If I say this often enough, it will help in two ways; 1) players who win a few tourneys and start to think that they have some "gift," will not get too full of themselves and spiral downwards shortly afterwards, thinking they are doomed, or that they play horribly and can never win again. They will understand the concept of the short term luck factor in tournaments versus cash games. 2) players who cannot make a cash in tournament after tournament will not feel an overwhelming depression and think something is wrong with their game, if they understand the huge variance in a tournament.

So I didn't really play that well, but got lucky (right up until the last hand).

Of course I did see a lot of mistakes, by myself as well as by others, but on the whole, poker bloggers have increased their skill set in such a monumental way compared to two years ago that I truly have no real complaints.

If anyone would like me to go through a few key hands with him or her, please send me the HH and I'll try to analyze your play, as well as perhaps suggest the most optimal way that hand could have been played (there are many ways to play a hand in PLO8; unlike PLHE, which requires a totally different skill set).

Although I was not concentrating fully last night, and most of the tourney was just a blur to me, today I am focused and will help out as much as I am able. I am not a fantastic PLO8 player, but I am a Ray Zee and Bob Ciaffone aficionado.


Felicia :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sunset Station

I hadn't been to Sunset Station in years. Nor could I remember why. Chemo has wiped out so much of my memory that I kind of float around in this dream world where something is always on the tip of my tongue, but I can't get it out.

So last Saturday we were in Vegas and I was kicking myself because I hadn't read 7CSFAP recently, and was making many, little mistakes at 20/40 Stud. I finally got wise enough to kick myself to the curb, although Glenn had almost tripled up in the 2/5 blind NLHE game.

I suggested to Glenn that we start heading south, back towards the hotel in Boulder City, but stop at Red Lobster, gorge ourselves, then hit Sunset Station and monkey away a couple hundred at the crazy 4/8 Omaha High game.

Yes, there is a psychological reason why I like Red Lobster, but let's leave that analysis alone for now, because what the real issue is about, is going to Sunset.

First off, Omaha High is a wacky game. The luck factor is so high that up until the poker boom, it was pretty much even money, a zero sum game. Once you paid the rake, tipped the dealer and tipped the cocktail waitresses, you could only hope to break even. Bad game for serious players. Horrible game for tilt-prone players.

I am a serious player, but not prone to tilt. When things get to the point that I want to play for "fun" and actually don't mind giving some money away, a game like OH is fine for me.

I went through a period a few years ago being hooked on OH at Boulder Station. The only thing I hated about the game is that they still accepted and encouraged dealer abuse, as well as gender abuse and any other kind of abuse they can think up ;) Boulder Highway is kind of the white trash area of Vegas. It's blue collar, working class. While you won't find tons of welfare families or gang warfare, you will find trailers, cars on blocks and washing machines in the front yard.

After watching a drunk guy burn the female, Asian dealer horribly on the arm, and feel up her breasts without getting booted, I couldn't take Boulder anymore, and have never been back.

Sunset is in a better neighborhood, but also offers OH. I'd never played it there, and had only been to Sunset once, years ago. Once we walked in, I remembered why we'd never gone back.

Some cardrooms just have that "cold" feeling. That, "you're not welcome" aura. At Sunset, no one was happy. Not the floorman, brush or dealers. Definitely not the players. For hours, not one laugh was heard in a very crowded room, on a Saturday night, to boot.

I found out they'd crossed my name off of the OH list when the floorman said, very rudely, "You didn't show up, so we crossed you off." This, even though Glenn had told them we were stopping at RL first to get food and it may be a couple of hours.

No, this is not a big deal to me. I'm pretty easygoing about game lists. Sure, I'd prefer they just roll my name, but I understand that being on the floor is a horrible, thankless job, with lots of responsibility and pressure, but little gratitude and no salary. Even so, he could have been a tad less curt.

So they decided to get a small buy-in NLHE game going. The blinds are 1/3 and the max buy-in is $300. I told them I would prop it until I got called to OH.

At first the game was really tight. The locals were just feeling each other, and us, out. I was worried that it was going to be a fold-fest, but that soon changed. What didn't change is that they were the nittiest bunch of guys I've ever played against in my life. The had a rulebook for their rulebook, lol. I would consider myself a very rules-oriented person, in both poker and life, but this bordered on the ridiculous.

In any case, it turned out to be a very good game. What started out as me monkeying around turned into making some real money. I busted a guy when I had aces and flopped another one. The guy mucked on the turn, so he must have been drawing dead.

Glenn tripled up and stayed in the game until we left.

I got called for OH, but those players were just as silent and unhappy as the NLHE players. They didn't seem quite as nitty, but they were definitely grumpy and not there to have any semblance of a good time.

Oh, well. Can't win 'em all. Now I remember why we didn't like Sunset. Cross another one off of our list, we won't be going back.

Felicia :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


So now that we're not going to Tunica, I can tackle a few topics which have been long pressing my mind.

I've always been an anti-IWTSTH player. I would like to see the rule abolished, except in extreme cases where collusion is most definitely suspected (The Riverside, lol).

These days, every player from the Internet is shouting, "IWTSTH! IWTSTH!" He thinks because he can request hand histories from most online sites, he has "paid" to see a heads-up hand.

Sometimes these requests are taken so far that:

1) The abuser asked to see an UN-CALLED hand at or before showdown
2) Every pot that goes to showdown is "expected" to be an IWTSTH decision
3) Someone invariably asks to see EVERY live hand at showdown
4) Someone asks the dealer to set a dead hand to the side, so that after the hand is completed he can see it

If you don't know why these are extremely bad cases of IWTSTH abuse, please stay online and play, don't go to a live cardroom. Spare us!!!

Now, I can be the devil's advocate and won't get all of these comments with people whining and crying, "What is so wrong with IWTSTH? I paid for it, it's my right!"

Say I am an online player, born and bred. I learned how to play poker online, I've only played online, and I am 21 years old (haha).

I don't see what the big deal is. After all, I can request any hand history I want, as long as I'm dealt into the game. If it's okay online, why isn't it okay live? Why do people get so angry at me? I just don't get it, it's part of the game, right?

Now that I've played devil's advocate, I'll address the Internet-Felicia's concerns:

1) When you are getting hand histories, are you doing it on the table's time, or on your own?
2) How many hands are you dealt online? Live? If you ask to see every hand at showdown, how many hands are you then being dealt live?
3) People are getting angry at you because you are: a) abusing a rule meant to prevent collusion, b) shooting an angle, c) exhibiting bad etiquette and d) WASTING THE TABLE'S TIME!

So what is being done about this? And why am I happy? Well, many steps are being taken to either totally abolish the IWTSTH rule, or limit it to strictly collusion-only suspicion. Rulebooks are being updated daily, as well as posted rules in a B&M cardroom.

Thank you, there is a god.

Internet players have slowed the live games down so much over the past two years that seeing over 20 hands per hour in a B&M that regularly allows IWTSTH abuse is nearly impossible. We are paying for that time! Go look up hand histories on your own time, leave your petty, anal angles out of it.

It never should have gotten this far, but it did, and I guess I'm glad it took a million, nitty little internet players in order to make cardrooms take a good, hard look at the abuses of IWTSTH.

That is all...

Felicia :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

I've Been Outed

BG saw through all of my bull.

Yes, it is true. What it took me a thousand words to say, he summed up in two words: be interesting.

I can read through almost any poker blog which breaks every rule in the book, as long as it's interesting.

He also told everyone twice about my little, tiny box. Now I know what the sex appeal is. Having a "tiny box" isn't what it's cracked up to be, guys. It's a lot of work, ask Glenn.

Felicia :)

Quest of a Closet Poker Player

I was over at reading a critique of my post last week which held MY opinion of a good poker blog, when I ran across some excellent additions.

1) Depth
2) Change

Detail (another he listed) I can take or leave. In a good poker blog, it can be an essential tool. In a mediocre poker blog, the author can twist facts in order to provide detail that is misleading or distracting.

Anyway, on one hand, this provides another example of how bloggers keep conveniently leaving off the first paragraph of my post, the one that states I am giving MY opinion of what makes a good poker blog (what will get me to read one site over another). I could go on and on providing examples of bloggers who insist on leaving out that first, essential paragraph, lol.

No, I'm not picking on CC (that was the nickname I had from both sets of Grandparents, btw). I actually have somewhat of a point.

I liked that he added HIS criteria, instead of just simply ripping me to shreds like many of the other flamers. Unlike me, however, his criteria will probably not get flamed. That is a special, little quirk that blog-dom seems to reserve for me. Aren't I lucky? Thanks, guys, I feel so loved.

Anyway, to move on, here is an excerpt from my comments:

And the one important thing that people keep missing: I said that this is MY criteria. I don't speak for the world, nor do you.

I would never come here and criticize what YOU believe makes a great journal, in fact, I agree completely with your criteria. Yet even if we disagreed 100%, I would respect YOUR opinion, and even applaud you for having one, and stating it openly.

For whatever reason, perhaps since I am a woman, I am castrated for MY opinion, regardless of the number of times I insist it is personal. Go figure.

At any rate, good analysis and additions. Change and depth make a great blog. Although I'm sure some will disagree with you on that, preferring instead to post thoughtless hand history after hand history, I'm quite sure YOU won't get flamed. That seems to be a blessing bloggers hold sacred for me.

CC has responded, trying to suck up a little (in his words), lol. I can be bought. Oh, no, I can't. I forgot, I don't post ads all over my site in order to make a little scratch on the side from mindless, clueless readers. Oh, sorry, another rant, lol. I'll save that fight for a better day.

I won't post CC's reply, that way you have to go to his site. And guess what, it's ad-free, just like this one. No flashing banners or pop-ups. At least someone is trying to do something right.

Felicia :)

Childish, Immature Rant with a Grey Goose Kicker

I'm completely shocked at the number of illiterate people on the web. Are all public schools in America truly giving out diplomas to people who cannot read? I thought that was reserved for my high school, St. Charles High School, where men wear wallet chains and women are on welfare, living in a trailer and pregnant with their third child by age 20, lol.

Ah, but I digress. I guess I'm lucky that people in blog-dom can't read. Being unable to read my journal probably means they're unable to read the board in Omaha 8. I love it when guys start arguing with the table and dealer that "they have a straight" with three cards in their hand.

Why would one sit at a poker table when he doesn't know the rules of the game? Even more so, why would he continue to argue with the dealer and eight or nine players at the table when he has no idea how to play Omaha? Ah, but they do all the time. And that is why a rockish, nut peddling, grinder like me can make a little scratch.

It's amazing to me that I can post year after year on 2+2 with little to no trouble, yet on my own, personal site, if I post anything even RESEMBLING an opinion, flames hit my mail and IM like an Oklahoma wildfire.

But perhaps that is the difference between an average "blog" reader and a 2+2er. That little thing called "reading comprehension."

Webster's defines "comprehension" as:

1) the act or action of grasping with the intellect
2) knowledge gained by comprehending
3) the capacity for understanding fully

Obviously some of my readers are missing a few of these skills. Perhaps you're an inbred, redneck like me, doomed to get cancer and die a painful death early in life. Cheers!

Speaking of such...

We were unable to get a room in Vegas this weekend due to two conventions. CES and a supposed porn convention in town (I haven't checked this one out, that is just what I heard via the grapevine).

So in the end, we had to drive all the way down to Boulder City in order to get a room. Now, I personally like BC, because it's sort of like Kingman, I suppose. That small town, uneducated feel. Yum, I fit right in.

Anyway, there was a HE table at the end of the gaming pit at Hacienda. After a rough night on Saturday, Glenn and I decided to go play a little fishy 2/4 no-fold'em-hold'em. They had just opened the table, and it was $3.00 max rake with no BBJ drop.

No one knew how to play. They were "just learning" in Boulder (Boulder is not the type of town with tourists, these were all locals).

I had a lot of fun and monkeyed away about $80 playing ATC.

Glenn had a harder time, being a little more anal and rules oriented than I am (after working at the Palms for a year; previous to this he was a lot more laid back). After four Bailey's and creams, however, even Glenn loosened up and started having fun.

Anyway, there is a point to my story. The point is, it is hard to get Grey Goose in any cardroom in Vegas. Most of the time the cocktail waitresses assert that it doesn't exist, although I would give 100:1 that GG is served at a pay bar in their casino, lol. Other times the waitresses are more candid, admitting that they HAVE it, but not free, for game players (yes, I have even offered to pay something for the premium vodka, as well as the tip).

So we are sitting in a little, dumpy casino in beautiful, downtown Boulder City (okay, it isn't that beautiful unless you count a view of Lake Mead, which is lovely, and a casino almost overlooking the Dam, but has no windows, lol). Nor is Hacienda downtown, but this will have to do for writer's license. Where was I? Oh, drifting as usual.

Okay, so we are sitting at the Hacienda kicking back with some high stakes 2/4 Hold'em. The waitress asks about drinks, I do my usual shtick of having her list the premium vodkas. She lists a few far-from-premium brands. Just as I'm getting ready to cross my fingers and go with the best of the bunch, she adds, "And of course we have Grey Goose."

Stunned, I question her further. They really stock GG at this place? This little dump where you can see one end of the casino from the other, with no problem? They really serve it to POKER players? I almost demand to look at the bottle, but what would that prove? Anything could be in that bottle, lol.

Every time she comes back to the table, I ask again. Shocked.

I drank two of these Bloody Mary's. One was made with like three shots of GG, so in reality, I drank four drinks, lol. I guess she thought she'd have the bartender overcompensate, since I seemed so incredulous about them giving out GG to poker players. I asked her to refrain from over-shooting (is that a word???) the next drink.

I figured I'd find out in the morning if it really was GG or not. I found out. It must have been a good brand with few impurities, because there was NO dreaded hangover. Felt fine as a fiddle.

Go figure! Grey Goose at the Hacienda!

Felicia :)

PS: Please go flame someone else, I'm sick of being your scapegoat.