Saturday, July 01, 2006

Felicia: The Hypocrite

[Cliff Notes for the mentally impaired: I might play in the Orleans Open, I might write a few lines about the series for 2+2. Read no further, you idiot.]

Okay, I kept saying I was working on something, but never posted about it. I am learning to be more and more gun-shy as I get older. People make big promises, and most of them never deliver. Or they deliver in a really crappy way. Like a casino promising players who play over 40 hours per week for a year will get a brand new 'Vette. Then on the closing day, give them the keys to a CheVette, lol ;)

So the two things that have been going on in the past week with me are the Orleans Open and 2+2.

The deal with the Open, is that the Orleans puts it on every year, and it's a total piece of crap festival. Tons of juice, no structure, 30 minute levels. It's like expecting the Wynn and being handed the El Cortez. It's a total dump.

Last week, I somehow stumbled upon the Open's schedule. Don't ask me how. I'm sorry if someone directed me there and now I can't remember it. If you did, thank you very much!

Okay, so there is the deal. This year they decided that instead of waiting until the series was over, they were going to plant the Open right in the middle of the series and take them head-on.

Although this seems like suicide, there are a couple of reasons that they gave me for going this route. First off, they are hoping for the overflow crowd. It seems like everyone is benefiting from the Rio overflow, and they thought they may as well get some extra business, too. Second, they know that not everyone can afford 1k buy-in's and up. With the juice on satellites increasing every year (thanks Harrrah's, love ya, NOT), satellites may not even be a viable way to get in anymore. The cost of the Open events, however, are about 10%-20% of the series events, so players can afford to just buy their way in, if they want, or play some very low buy-in sats.

Older and elderly people might also be very intimidated by the chaos and mile long walks at Rio. The Open is much less crowded per square foot, and easily accessible once you find the correct entrance.

Now that I've addressed the reasons that they put the Open right in the middle of the series, I'll give my best guess on why they think they might draw some players this year versus the last few years where they've gotten the well deserved reputation of a pit of dung.

They have expanded all of the levels to include one hour limits. One hour versus thirty minutes is a real switch. Also, all of the starting chips have gone up multiple times, while they are still using the same structure that they have always used!!! So let's say 2000 starting chips for a $300 tourney. Plus you start at 15/30 and go up very gradually. That gives you 66 big bets to start with (a huge amount in this day of poker) and you won't even get to 2000 as the big bet until 13 hours of play later!!!

I can't remember exactly what we got in starting chips during the past three years, but it was more like 1/4-1/2 of that, with 30 minute levels. Plus the juice was more last year.

So anyway, I talked to one of the TD's, and they know I'm very unhappy with them, as a whole, but they said they are really trying to do the right thing. So I said I'd give them one chance. If they screw with the structure or give less starting chips after the first event, having taken 15,920 hours to get to the final table and not liking it, then I'm outta there. They brought it on themselves, I even warned them that this structure was LONG, and given their past history of wanting us poker scum outta there in a nanosecond, I figured they'd never stick with the longer structure.

But here I go again, two years later, entering the den of hell called Orleans.

I'll give it a shot at the first O8 event. If I haven't heard that they screwed with the structure, that is. Heck, I figure I can fold my way into the money! I don't even have to play for the first eight hours, lol :)

So there ya go, I'm hitting the Orleans a few times this month, if it turns out okay. And I'm sure no trip will be wasted. No matter how Orleans FUBAR's the Open, there is always the Razz game over in the cash games section. I loves me some Razz.

That was the first thing I've been working on. The second is another thing I've gotten burned on before. So naturally I'm jumping right back into the pit. I love to torture myself. Or be tortured. Masochism is my thing. Come see me sometime.

Anyway, I've written before for tourneys. I hated it. I wouldn't go back. I do, however, think that 2+2 has kind of missed the ball on big tournaments. They have always been all about cash games, and that is fine, that is great. I actually agree with that, pretty much. But new players like tournaments. They don't see them the way we old timers do. They don't see tourneys as a way to get new players into a cardroom to play cash games. They see tourney life as a separate entity, completely self-reliant in some cases. And in some cases, they are correct. It can be done. Variance is a mother, but if you have a ton of discipline and bankroll management (along with many other qualities), you can succeed.

So 2+2 has never been big on tourney forums and tourney books. Just now they are biting the bullet and really getting into things more. With the Harrington books and having Raymer as an original member, it's kind of hard to ignore it.

But they still didn't prepare for what was going to happen at Rio this year.

I was talking to Ed about the magazine (I have been for a while now, both he and Mason, in fact), and thinking of some ways to make it better. Ed had some really good ideas on Sunday night. He said that the ultimate mag might have some tourney stuff in it, too. He also named several other components that he thought would make the magazine more interesting. Right now it's kind of technical, serious and dry, IMO.

While I'm a real 2+2er at heart, and have no interest in reading about who Clonie is sleeping with now, and which mistress is on Moneymaker's arm this week, I can see a great benefit in providing tournament information more regularly on 2+2 and in it's magazine.

It doesn't have to be boring, either. Just because I'm not into gossip or rumors, doesn't mean I can't be interesting. Writing about successful 2+2er's in the tournament arena, profiling the many players who have already cashed or gotten to final tables (and we are truly representing already this year!), finding out what is being done to better the structures, the environment, the food. There are lots of 2+2er's who can write, and write well.

So since 2+2 has never been about tourneys, they never bothered to get a press pass for the series.

After I talked to Ed on Sunday night, then saw that chaos at Rio on Monday, suddenly this idea got into my head. Although I will not be at Rio during the whole of the series, I can still write down things when I am there. Kind of a "man on the scene" type stuff. Just light, and very interesting, not dry or technical.

Right now we've applied for a pass, but who knows when and if Rio will even bother to get back to us, this late in the game. We'll see.

So those are the two things that I've been busy with the past week. Just little things, things that would cause virtually no ripple in my life in years past, but are big for me now. Funny, two things that I thought I'd never do again (play at Orleans and write about tourneys), are the very things I'm planning on for this month.

But nothing heavy, just keep it simple, stupid. Keep it light. I'll only do as much as I can manage, and rest often.

Glenn is playing for his replacement seat today. Gary, my giant friend, also got in for the final. Hopefully one of them will win a seat.

Have a good weekend,

Felicia :)

Friday, June 30, 2006

"Don't Forget Your Helmet!"

"Don't Forget Your Helmet!" --Eva Can Hang

Yes, I belong in the special olympics. I is dumb. Being retarded is a real handicap. Why? Because even if I win a gold medal, I'm still retarded!

I hate chemo. I feel so bad for those undergoing it right now. On the cancer forums, I read all the time, "Boy, can't wait til I'm done with this chemo, so I can get my head back on straight!" I want to cry for them. I want to say something, but I hate to discourage them. After all, they might be the exception to the rule and be thinking normally again in no time at all!

Anyway, moving on, the subject of my post was a response that Eva gave me when I told her I'd overlooked a major player at Party.

Mike O'Malley is their CRM, and has my journal linked. I'm not good friends with Mike, but poker acquaintances. I had forgotten all about his job with Party, duh!

I wonder what my IQ is right now? It's probably dropping like AOL shares in 2001.

Felicia :)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mirage 2+2 Moderator Dinner

So I left off when we were leaving Bellagio for Mirage. On the way out, I saw David in the sports book. I asked him if he was going to the moderator dinner. He shrugged and looked at the monitors. He said something about the ponies. I said, "David, it's YOUR forum!" He said the games at Bellagio were awfully good. I said, "David, you have to go!" He asked, "YOU'RE a moderator? Where?" I rolled my eyes and told him. I told him we're ALL socially awkward, he wasn't any exception. We're poker players!!! He said he would come over if the games weren't good, if the ponies weren't running, if hell froze over...something like that.

I've never cared for the Mirage. No change this time. I've only been twice since 2002, and both times due to 2+2 functions.

I spotted Ed first, who looks no different than pre-QEFTSG Ed. Well, maybe his hair is shorter, no mo' afro.

Dynasty came in not much later. He's even quieter than he is on 2+2, and pretty much the same. Always looks disgusted, always looks put out. At least he's genuine, unlike so many other online "personas," harhar.

I spotted Mat a billion miles away, just circling and circling the poker room and outside pit, looking for something, never finding it. Beautiful girl on his arm. Of course I had to ask him later how much he paid for her.

Mason came along soon. Another beautiful girl, another conspiracy that I have yet to figure out. She claims that tennis brought them together, but I'm just certain there is a backstory, lol ;)

As we were about to hit the restaurant, David came sauntering in. He claimed he couldn't stay, that the 300/600 was just too good. I said that if the game really WAS that good, he wouldn't have left in the first place. I told him it was completely unfair that he was skipping out on my one opportunity to bore him to tears by grilling him on Stud. After all, Glenn has bugged Mason for the past three years on Draw, I should get my opportunity. Oh, well, there's always Ray.

As we started towards the buffet, a guy (Durron) from Glenn's NLHE table came rushing up. He hadn't said boo to either me or Glenn the entire time we were playing. I accused him of being either retarded or from Canada. He claimed neither.

We ran into Schneids (Mike Schneider) and his friend midway through our walk. Late, as usual. Must be gay. I said a few words to Mike, and somehow he sounded kind of Australian. Don't know why, except that I'm a moron. So then I found out he is from Minnesota or something, so that makes sense...???!!!

Any time a guy has to bring along another guy friend, I just jump to the logical conclusion that he must be gay. Why? Because I'm stupid.

So we went marching through the VIP line, where I accused Mase of being cheap and having comps. I finally nailed him down to how many comps he had, and he reluctantly admitted four. Bingo, I knew it. Mase always chooses Mirage. It takes a cheap bistad to recognize another cheap biztad. Go Mason!

He did, however, insist on buying for both Glenn and Mikes gay friend, so kudos. Maybe he felt that not as many moderators showed up as he was expecting, so he still got a good deal.

Mirage totally remodeled their buffet from the last time I was there (maybe the 1900's). Although it looks nicer, getting to all of the stations is a real hike.

Mat, however, was up to the challenge! I've never seen someone my age so hyperactive. Usually by the time hyperactive people reach their thirties or forties they seem to slow down. Not Mat. He never sat still for a second.

We sat at a table with Mat, Mat's beautiful girlfriend and Dynasty. Dynasty left us as soon as humanly possible and went to sit next to Ed and the young crowd.

I found out that Mat is my Internet stalker. It started when he said that I'd posted something on my journal about him a few years ago. I denied it at first, because I don't remember anything like that. But then I remembered that I got that free lobotomy via chemotherapy, and that my memory had been wiped virtually clean. So I stopped protesting so vehemently.

Then Mat starts admitting that he's read all of these other posts that I've made. Posts on 2+2 and on my journal. And I'm teasing him and calling him my stalker. I always thought that was Vehn's job, but here Mat was reading my stuff all along, while Vehn probably couldn't give a crap. He's got other, bigger fish to fry, and that fish is called the Annie-Dukefish.

Once I started teasing Mat, he was squirming more and more. I even got him blushing pretty deeply one time. Bingo! Once I sense a weakness I have to exploit it. I kept messing with him during the whole dinner and afterwards.

Mat was interested in gelato. But he was too hyperactive to wait for the server. So he kept walking the whole of the buffet, over and over again, waiting for a time for the machine to be completely empty. He never got his gelato. He did, however, start over again about an hour after everyone else finished eating. He must have walked that buffet 20x in two hours. Probably partially to get away from ME. And who could blame him???

Yes, I liked Mat the best of all the new people I met. Yes, I'm sure he hates me, who wouldn't? I totally had to rip on him, I couldn't seem to help myself. Once he exposed his soft underbelly, I just went for the kill.

I tried to get him to go along with some kind of big scam on 2+2. I would get in a public fight with him, he would ban me, he would take away my mod privileges, chaos would ensue. Okay, no chaos, like anyone cares about me or the Omaha forums, right? I guess that was probably a bad idea.

Anyway, towards the end almost everyone defected over to the popular Ed table. Ed is really good at that, he can engage people well, and for a long time. Mat finally had enough of me and left, probably much to his relief.

Mason's wife wasn't interested in the Ed table, so we stayed to talk to her. She and Glenn got into a tennis conversation, and I took a quick nap. Naw, seriously, she was wonderful. Engaging and beautiful. I told Mason he got really, really lucky. He agreed.

Finally we wrapped it up. I tried to corner Dynasty again, but he wouldn't bite, and so I gave up.

Ed and I talked all the way to the garage about some issues with the 2+2 magazine. I was hoping we'd be able to talk about it. Since he was king of the popular table, I'd not gotten to address the issue, so I was pretty relieved that we talked for about 30 minutes during the walk and stopping here and there. He gave me some good ideas, and I hope I gave him some things to think about, too.

Glenn and I had a great time, and I love being around 2+2er's and torturing them to death. We decided to head back to Wynn and see what was cooking.

Coming next, Mixed Games at Wynn and chaos at Rio...

Felicia :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Glenn Round II

Glenn has got to be the nicest guy in the world (to be married to me, you'd better believe it).

Since he is so worried about my health and playing in the series, he decided he'd just try to win another seat.

Yesterday he played all day, while at times multi-tabling in other games. He got close a couple of times, but no cigar.

Today he did the same. He finally made it past the first tier just now.

What a fantastic guy!

Kind of hurts that no seems to recognize this. I see a billion comments on other blogs when someone wins a big seat, but pretty much nada on Glenn's. It's too bad that the bloggers have to take out the hate they feel for me on him. Some of these people have met him, played against him, sat next to him at restaurants, talked to him, etc. But they hate me so much they can't even be bothered to send a quick IM saying "good job, bro."

And I wonder why I pulled away...

Felicia :)

Hookers and Vegas (Part One)

Okay, so here are some more happenings after Glenn won the 10k seat on Saturday night, and we drove up to Vegas on Sunday morning.

I think we rolled into the Wynn at about noon. I looked around for the mixed game, but there was only an interest list. I am batting about 0:829 with informal, 2+2 get-togethers. Mostly they are younger, newer guys, aged 21-26, who think some old broad is going to ruin their good time, donking it up at Wynn and trying to pick up hookers.

The more formal get-togethers are a shoo-in. They can't duck me ;)

Since we had about six hours before the moderator dinners at Mirage, we decided to play a little bit at Wynn. I sat in the O8 game, Glenn got into a couple of LHE games. It was kind of dead and we only ended up staying an hour or so.

We headed over to Bellagio after Glenn called up and found out there was a Stud game going and three names on the list. By the time we made it to the room, I was fifth on the list. Although we got up to six, none of the old dudes would play "short handed," lol.

While sitting around, I talked some with my friend Jean Gaspard, and went through some scenarios about how to fix the dilemma with the WSOP seat. I also talked to Mr. Subliminal, and we joked around about bloggers taking things so seriously that they really thought he was living in a shelter, and totally believed he lost $439,922.18. Right down to the pennies. We tried to come up with some shtick about how we left Bellagio together and had sex in his cardboard box, or in the shelter, or something.

We finally got the Stud game going, and I started off doing pretty well. I did lose with unimproved queens one hand, when my opponent made a second pair (eight & deuces), but then I won a huge pot with rolled aces.

Some players get so unlucky with rolled hands. I hear lots of stories, and Glenn has showed me so many hands online where he lost being rolled up.

I am extremely fortunate that I almost never lose with a rolled up hand. This helps me in two ways. First off, I never get a case of the MUBS, so I continually pound rolled up hands when I have many opponents drawing against me. I definitely make the most of my rolled up hands which win. Pots are typically big, because I don't chicken out when I see a four-flush against me. I just know I'm going to fill and that is that ;)

At any rate, on this hand I was extremely fortunate because the opponent next to me had the case ace as his doorcard. So I had the advantage of disbelief working for me. Also, I had been raising quite a bit with high doorcards and stealing many pots. I was involved in almost 50% of the hands thus far. We had started out a little shorthanded, plus I found myself with a lot of royal doorcards in last position when no one had opened. So between legitimate hands and stealing hands, I was in tons of pots. My opponents probably saw me as a young, cocky, WPT female wannabe who was running over the table. Although I am almost 40, to the elderly Stud players, I probably look the same age as the 20-somethings!

Okay, so I had two unbelieving opponents when I was rolled up. And I just kept pounding. One guy made his flush on sixth, but the pot was so huge that I just kept right on going.

On fourth, he tried to play the semi-bluff "raise a scary board for a free card next round" trick, but I simply kept raising him. I believe he had a jack doorcard, then caught the ten of the same suit on fourth. I saw him look down at his board, look at my board, look down again. I could almost read his mind, thinking that he had such a tough looking board, that maybe he could fool me into thinking he had a straight flush draw. Welp, all I can say is, a four card hand is not a made poker hand, so until you shove that straight flush up my azz, I'm going to keep raising!

Luckily, there was a victim caught in the middle of all of this, who kept passively overcalling everything. I'd make it one, he'd cold call, JTs guy would make it two, I'd make it three, passive guy would overcall.

Passive guy overcalled all the way to the river, then folded for one more bet! Oy, maybe Stud isn't dead after all!

Almost an $800 pot. Nice.

The game went a little dead after that, and Glenn and I decided to leave. He wasn't very happy in his game, either, and said all of the live ones went bust and took a hike.

We met at the cashiers. Glenn told the guy to give me the money. The guy asked me, "Wow, who are you to get all of the money he brings up?"

I said, "Isn't it obvious? I'm a hooker! Of course, I'm the ugliest hooker Bellagio has ever seen, but oh, well, he paid for it!"

That got everyone laughing, and one guy said, "Sadly enough, you're NOT the ugliest hooker I've seen here!"

And so, we departed for Mirage, where I had the 2+2 dinner of a lifetime.

More to come...

Felicia :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yes, it Really was "That" Felicia

Wow, I just had one of the most bizarre weekends of my life. What a story. I guess I'll start from the beginning.

I have said before that back in 1894 when Glenn and I signed up for some online poker accounts, most, if not all sites had a "one account per household" rule. So we mostly used my name, opened Neteller in my name, and used the nickname FeliciaLee.

I never really dug online poker, so Glenn continued on while I played spottily here and there over the years. Glenn simply kept the FeliciaLee name on most sites, and when both husband and wife were allowed separate accounts, unless he was being offered a sign-on bonus or rake back, he never bothered.

Okay, so that being said, Party was another one of those sites where we only had the FeliciaLee account.

About a week ago, Glenn decided to enter a freeroll on Party for a WSOP seat.

He didn't bother to find out any of the details. You know how it is with freerolls. 5000 people enter, and only a tiny fraction move on (sometimes less than 1%).

Usually, in the weeks leading up to the series, Glenn plays freerolls here and there on different sites. He can typically tolerate a couple per month, maybe more. It is a horrible, grueling process, as I'm sure everyone knows, and it can be super frustrating.

Take last year, for instance. Glenn entered a freeroll on Paradise for ONE main event seat. The top xx players moved on to the next tier. So Glenn played 5-10 hours, and moved on in one of them. The next tier an even smaller number of players moved on, but of course there were a smaller number registered. So instead of 50 moving on out of 5000, maybe it was 25 out of 1000. Glenn once again played many hours, then moved on. Finally the real seat was being given away. ONE seat. I don't think any other place paid out. The field was big, well over 1000 if I remember correct. Glenn played about a dozen hours, and finished in FIFTH PLACE!!!

Anyone who has been through this horrible, grueling process over and over again gets sick of it mighty fast, and stops trying to win big seats via freerolls online every day.

So back to my point, Glenn usually can tolerate maybe 10 altogether in the four months or so leading up to the series.

Glenn has long been a master of the satellite. He can adjust his play so expertly that he tends to cash or qualify way more than the percentages say he should. Of course, this has a negative effect, too. He has to play long, horrible hours, and sit around hour after hour while players stall, hoping to somehow sneak into the money (thank God this practice is verboten IRL).

So Glenn moved on last week. I think the top 50 out of about 5000 on Party moved to the next tier of the main event satellite.

On Saturday, the top 16 would get seats and accommodations, everyone else would have to start over. Glenn also had a seat for the million guarantee sat on UB. He planned to play both, then we were going to head up to Vegas for a dinner that 2 + 2 owners invited us to attend on Sunday.

Glenn started at 1:30pm. I believe there were about 3300 qualifiers.

I went to bed at about 6pm (my normal time, I know, it's early, but I have to if I want to keep gardening).

Glenn was still in the sat. I don't remember how many players were left. Maybe 200. I ended up waking up in the "middle of the night," lol, about 9pm. Glenn was practically on the bubble, but also on the ropes. Even the biggest stack left only had enough chips to go around the table maybe five times!!!

Everyone was playing their best game. Mostly the shorthanded tables would fold, fold, fold. One desperate player pushing all-in, then stealing the blinds and antes to be able to survive for another round of play.

Glenn pushed in a couple of times, getting lucky to have ace-something (never getting called), small pairs (never getting called), and then AA (never getting called). Although it sounds like a nightmare that he never once got called during the last hour, the blinds and antes were so, unbelievably high that he suddenly found himself with almost a million chips. No, that is not an exaggeration, I truly mean one million.

The blinds were 75/150k, the antes were 5k, I believe. The highest stack had only a little over a million, lol. Glenn went from 300k to about 900k and then could sort of sit for a few minutes to see what happened. Most people were hovering under 500k, so he was praying they would have to take more chances and get called by comparable or bigger stacks. That is exactly what happened, and several people busted quickly out of sheer desperation and getting blinded out.

The final twenty went down to 17 pretty fast. Then the bubble. It lasted for a few minutes, but eventually a desperate stack went all-in with AT and was called by the chip lead with Q6. Chip lead made two pair, and Glenn was in.

As an odd, horrific side note, these players were stalling for literally HOURS before this tourney ended. Even though play was hand-for-hand, they were so retarded that they didn't even realize that stalling did nothing except run down the clock. THE TOURNAMENT IS HAND-FOR-HAND, PEOPLE!!!

This is the key reason that so many serious players cannot tolerate freeroll sats for big event seats. Hello!

I am thankful that live tourneys do not tolerate this form of cheating. Last year at the series, a ton of newbie, green players tried the whole stalling routine when they were close to the bubble. Over and over again, I heard the TD's on the PA announcing that if they were caught stalling, they would be disqualified from the event. Since the series has gotten so big, they can't always go hand-for-hand near the bubble, or events would take two weeks to wrap up.

Anyway, Glenn won the seat.

And then I gave him the bad news.

Um, no. YOU didn't win the seat, Glenn, I did.

Yes, I'm trying to get this changed. Yes, I'm not above using the "cancer card." No, we did nothing wrong, we simply followed Party's rules at the time that we signed up. Yes, Party knows this. No, I do not want the seat. No, I do not want to play. No, I do not believe I am strong enough to play in the ME. No, I do not think I can sit in that claustrophobic room for 12 hour days. No, I do not want to be on TV. No, I do not want to be noticed or get any attention. Yes, I'm still trying to get permission to give the seat to Glenn.

Yes, it was "that" FeliciaLee.

No, I never played a hand.

Yes, I will finish with a trip report about our bizarre Sunday and Monday in Vegas. Stay tuned!

Felicia :)