Saturday, September 09, 2006

Friday Night

Last night:

-$60 (4/8 Kill HE)
+$35 (4/8 Kill HE)
-$80 (NLHE Tourney)
-$50 (2/5 NLHE)
=-155 Net winnings for Friday, September 8, 2006

(Total saved for new car pre-August 15 $2500. Current total $2095)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Last Night

Last night:

$25 (2-6 HE)
=25 Net winnings for Thursday, September 7, 2006

(Total saved for new car pre-August 15 $2500. Current total $2145)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Don't Be a Victim!

I didn't go out and play last night. My head was pounding from the crazy weather we are having (driving rain/wind storms proceeded and followed by high heat and sun). The pollen is probably through the roof at times. My eyes are swollen and watery and my head pounds to a rhythm that has nothing to do with music. Not fun times.

Although I don't feel that great right now, I'll probably still hit the Riverside tonight. Gotta work for da man and earn my SVO car.

Glenn has hit a rough patch which is kind of amusing to me. Glenn and I have always had vastly different experiences in poker. Although he is as tight, or tighter than I am, Glenn tends to hit big hands often. He has had many straight flushes, including royals, right from the time he started playing poker for real stakes. I have only had a handful of straight flushes in my poker journey, and never a royal. Not once, in any game. Not Stud, HE, Omaha, Razz (haha). Never.

Likewise, Glenn gets some vicious runner beats. I meant brutal. Remember the 989:1? I have never had anything even remotely close to that happen to me.

Last night at RS, Glenn had another, too. He had a pocket pair, sixes, I believe. He limped, along with several dozen other limpers (lol, this is a spread limit 2-6 game, so usually everyone including the dealer and the pet dog are in every hand). A player went all-in with his case $8. Everyone called.

The flop came down A64, with two hearts. Giving Glenn a set, but a slightly scary board for the any two cards that his opponents could have. Glenn bet out and immediately got raised. The betting became heads-up, with the pre-flop all-in for the main.

Glenn filled up on the turn, with the board reading: A64A

The river was the case ace, and his opponent still betting for the sidepot showed AKo.

This is not a huge beat, but I just wanted to give an example of the things that happen to Glenn each and every day, yet so rarely happen to me. We have never figured this phenomenon out. We have examined it at each level, yet we do not have an answer other than the obvious ones: 1) Glenn has played hundreds of thousands of hands more than me (he likes online play), and 2) just random dumb luck that will eventually catch up to me.

Fun times!

In other news, I have been asked by so many people to address different poker subjects here. Some of them I simply have no interest in. The Gold subject is one that doesn't spark even one iota of interest. I have no unique perspective, nor do I really care. Sure, it's a blight on poker, but then so is Amarillo Slim, yet everyone still sucks up to him like he isn't a pedophile who sexually molested his granddaughter three times before she had the nerve to report it to her mother (his daughter). Slim makes me sick, puke, ill. Gold just makes me roll my eyes.

One subject that I have likewise had little problem with is the "new" poker scene. Young guys with the caps, sunglasses and music. I suppose some of my lack of problem with these guys is that I'm not old enough yet to be disturbed by them. I can still understand where they are coming from. The other advantage I have in that regard is that I'm a woman, and maybe more of a guiding figure to them. I do not put up with their over-the-top antics, yet I don't come online and whine and complain about them, while saying nothing. I address it, as is.

The problem with so many people in the world is their refusal to speak up. This inhibition on our part, in society as a whole, is what has contributed to the "problem." No one wants to stand up and contribute to the "solution," per se. They just want to watch someone do something out of line, then come home and vent online or to their spouses.

One of the primary reasons I refuse to speak on the phone is due to this problem. I will not listen to people who constantly whine and complain, yet refuse to do anything about their situation. They are the dead weight in our world. The frozen, the inactive, the lazy, the fearful. They watch atrocities happen each and every day, yet refuse to do a thing.

Then they think I'm going to be their sounding board. No way. I don't listen to these sob stories of those who cannot speak up or speak out. Never. My whole early life I grew up listening to my Mom whine about people every, frigging day, yet never do a thing. She dealt at some pretty scary Riverside-like cardrooms. She was slapped, hit, kicked, had drinks thrown in her face, was burned with cigars and cigarettes, cursed at. Did she ever do a thing? Nope. Instead she came home to whine and cry to us.

So getting back to poker. People LOVE whine about sitting in a game where a young person is completely lacking any poker etiquette whatsoever, due to either lack of experience in a live setting, or because they have gotten away with it in the past, so have continued their ways.

The experienced players say nothing. They don't report it, they don't stop it, they sit like frozen deer in the headlights of an oncoming car.

Until they get home, that is, where they log onto the Internet and go ballistic.

They claim they don't want to tap the aquarium, or some such. Any excuse will do other than the truth, which is usually that they lack the balls to do anything about it.

In my situation, there IS no situation. The first time it happens, I either pull the guy aside, or address him at the table. It is usually done in either a very light, joking manner, or in a more motherly, stern manner. I do not embarrass him, if I feel he is the type who would leave or become angry if embarrassed, but I make it 100% clear that his etiquette is not proper, not social, not acceptable and that he would have a better time if he behaved like the gentleman I know he could be.

Problem solved.

I have never had one further instance of abuse, except in a couple of rare times when the young guy was drinking heavily, and then usually the matter is escalated to the floorman or security.

I also have never had a young guy turn on me. Start to curse me out, or hurt me.

I've said it a million times, and I'll say it again: IF YOU HAVE THE BALLS TO PLAY POKER, YOU HAVE THE BALLS TO SPEAK UP!

Poker is not for the timid or shy. Get in there and do your duty. We have thousands of new dealers on the scene who do not run their own games. We must take charge if we want and expect a change. If you value your time in the cardroom, if you value your future, if you value playing in a safe, secure environment, you are going to have to protect your games. Failure to do so will find these games changed to the extent that you will refuse to play live (several on RGP have already quit live play).

I have little hope that anyone will listen to me. They so rarely do. But this is my journal, my rant, so there you go. The Bystander Effect is a blight on our society.

Sooooo, now that I have ranted and raved, I would like to say once again, that the things I write here are all about me. They are my experiences, my opinions, my views.

I never, ever go out of my way to "hurt" anyone, yet I so often do anyway, in my inability to censor myself. I don't, and I will not, ever censor anything here. Sure, I say what others are thinking sometimes, yet refuse to admit aloud, and it gets me into trouble, but I wouldn't have it any other way, regardless of the persecution that I have experienced.

If I inadvertently hurt anyone who reads my journal and knows me in person (I have been hearing rumors of this lately in Laughlin, ugh), I apologize. This is just a diary, the type you would keep next to your bed. I write what I am thinking, and sometimes it seems awfully harsh. But I never mean to hurt anyone, and that is simply the truth. If you find yourself offended by my personal journal, please do not continue to read. As I like to write: GTFO.

Felicia :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Looking Up

Although I haven't been writing much, things are going very well for me. I'm winning again, although I'm not on a heater or getting more than my fair share of wins/premium hands.

The Riverside is still the Riverside, warts and all. The good thing about RS is that I can pretty much say whatever I want without fear of it being taken the wrong way (see Belle) or getting booted by some super sensitive dealer.

My health is so much better than I can't even begin to describe the difference between this year and last. Although I may complain about allergies, headaches, spots on my lung, colds, etc, they are a minor inconvenience compared to the hell that I went through post-chemo.

The doctor here thought I should ween myself off of the shot that renders me spayed and masculine (lack of hormonal emotions). At first I disagreed with this idea, knowing the hell I would go through if my estrogen kicked back in and I was saddled with all of that again (pre-cervical cancer, endometriosis, mood swings). The oncologist thought that I would likely go into menopause anyway, given the strength of the poison called chemotherapy. But then I only had two doses of it. So I'm not sure where I stand in that regard. The good news is, I haven't noticed any change yet. It's only been about three weeks, but nada so far. If I have any physical or mental changes whatsoever, I'll be back in the doc's office pronto. I know that it increases my chances of cancer recurrence, but those shots are so awesome that it makes it worth it, for me, if it comes to that.

On the poker front, I've finally cooled off online a bit, and have hit a downswing. Downswings in LO8 just don't happen very often, so when they do, they seem more overwhelming than in other games like Stud. In person I am winning again, and have a good table image. Oddly enough, something Alan said is so relevant to me that I have been saying it for years. I won't go into detail, but I will say that "schooling happens," and when you are a woman, a woman who is crass, rude, dominant, aggressive and somewhat masculine, a type of implicit collusion and/or bullseye effect does tend to happen more often than to most men. It is both a help and a hindrance.

My garden is starting to perk up again. The experimental indoor gardening project failed miserably. I guess that even though I kept all of the seedlings in a warm, sunny, southfacing window, they just never got quite enough sunlight and/or warmth. Yet the cool weather plants never got the nightime drop in temperature that they need to thrive. So everything is going back outside. Some will be put in containers so that they can survive the winter by not being outdoors after the first frost.

I have only one watermelon growing. It is a yellow variation, bred for desert conditions (Desert King Watermelon). No other flowers were pollinated successfully. I don't know why. My Persian Cantaloupe likewise failed to pollinate, even with my manual help. It is a hearty, thriving plant, but has no fruit growing.

On the other hand, the bush beans that I tried to start indoors would not germinate. I got zero sprouting. When I placed one in a peat pot and buried it outside, however, the thing sprouted right up in a day! Go figure. It was like the bean was telling me, "Duh, all you had to do was put me in horrible, harsh, windy, 110+ sun scalding conditions and I would grow right up for you!"

Now I'm getting read to start carrots, lettuce and radishes outside. If they won't grow in favorable conditions, maybe they, also will sprout right up in desert conditions with all of the "wrong" elements.

Gardening is odd, so hit and miss, just like any individual poker session.

I've always loved a challenge. I'll take it!

Felicia :)
Last night:

+$225 (2/5 NLHE)
+$60 (4/8 HE Kill)
-$65 (NLHE Tournament)
=220 Net winnings for Tuesday, September 5, 2006

(Total saved for new car pre-August 15 $2500. Current total $2120)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Last Night

Last night:

+$5 (2-6 HE Kill)
+$110 (4/8 HE Kill)
=115 Net winnings for Saturday, September 2, 2006

(Total saved for new car pre-August 15 $2500. Current total $1900)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Get Your Groove On

Ah, back in the groove of things again. Nothing feels better than finding a niche, and letting things come together. It's like a puzzle and you find a piece that makes other pieces stand out, and place easily. Suddenly the momentum gets going and snowballs swiftly and easily downwards. I love that feeling.

Yesterday we decided to try this new NLHE tournament we'd heard of at Ramada. I was so out of the loop in poker until recently that I didn't even know Ramada had a real poker room. As far as I knew, they still had those two or three lonely tables at the end of the gaming pit, stocked with blackjack dealers.

Now they have many tables, with a view of their little railroad station and the train stopping by every fifteen minutes. It is nice. I love trains and the sound of the rails.

They also have promotions rivaling Riverside, while combining some of the better things that the Belle had to offer. The reason that the promos are set up with those things in mind is because the CRM has worked at both properties.

She seems like a nice woman. I knew her at the Belle as a dealer. She also worked at Riverside in many capacities. I'm not sure what her reputation is overall, but her husband's rep is one of a crook, so I keep my distance. She is also the one who referred me to doctor death, who operated on my right boob without anesthesia and held me down as I screamed and begged to be knocked out. He also failed to diagnose that I had breast cancer, and strung me along for three months. But that is "modern" medicine in Kingman, and had it's own horror story a year ago, so if you really want to read the disgusting details, have fun in the archives.

Anyway, to get back on track, now she is back from wherever they go when they wear out their welcome in Laughlin, which seems pretty often. I've heard southern California mentioned several times.

She is the new CRM and is trying to promote the room by offering promos which are pretty great, even for Laughlin. She is paying $1.25 per hour for live play, plus poker merchandise based on hours played. They have a coffee machine in the room, although the coffee is horrible. Ditto water cooler, which is great for me, because I drink so much water, and so often, that it seems only Riverside can keep up with my consumption.

She has one tournament, and it is a biggie. I have heard people talking about how great it is during the past couple weeks at RS. It is a $55 buy-in. Only $5 goes to the house. There is an optional dealers add-on for $5 which increases chip count. No rebuys.

We start with 8k in chips, and only 100/200 levels, which super gradually increase every 20 minutes. There is plenty of play in this event, even after three hours.

It is a bounty tourney, which means whenever players get eliminated, the person who eliminated him gets a bounty. Most bounties are worth $10, but they come in sealed envelopes, and there are bonus bounties worth varying amounts up to $100. That money comes from the BBJ drop ("promotional fund"), not the prize pool.

So this was the first Saturday we'd played at Ramada. We got there early, about 1pm, as I'd heard it sells out just about every week. Sure enough, there were hordes of people from every cardroom around town. The word was out.

Glenn and I rode the train for a diversion and some fun before the event. It must have brought us good luck ;)

We both started the event strong. Glenn eliminated opponent after opponent, as did I. I just happened to always have a big hand when someone else did. But they always had the 2nd biggest hand.

I got many bounties. I got so many at my table that the floorman just kept coming up to me with the envelopes, instead of asking where the bounty went. I knocked out about ten people in the first two hours.

All of my bounties were $10 except one, which was the $60 bonus. Glenn and I kept them together at first, so I don't know how many I made, but it was close to $170 in bounties alone!

I was the chip lead off and on during the first two hours, steamrolling my table.

And then I started making mistakes.

My first mistake was not demanding to know how the prize pool was calculated. The CRM just kept saying she was "working on it," and that the "final table gets paid."

So we had 88 runners altogether, and ten get paid. Sounds logical. On the surface, that is.

What she neglected to say is that she was going to try that old Belle trick of paying 6-10 only $50, instead of real money.

So that was my first mistake. I assumed that 6-10 got some percentage of the prize pool, when instead they got a pittance.

My second mistake was trying to play conservatively with a big stack, instead of continuing to steamroll the table as we got close to the final. I went from about 80k in chips down to 30k by simply sitting on my butt doing nothing. Big mistake. I had many playable hands.

So I live and learn. I truly am not meant for tournament play, and I know this, but there is no way I'll miss this tourney in the future, so I will study and read Rodman & Harrington until I learn that I cannot make these crucial errors in the future.

Sure enough, by trying NOT to bubble, I managed to bubble.

At blinds of 4/8k I was UTG with AJo and only 30k. I made a steal attempt.

A guy who'd been at my table the entire tourney, who played about 90% of his hands (southern Callie), who had been up to 100k and down to the felt by playing every hand, who made terrible calls, decided that his pocket tens were too strong to lay down (heck, 90% of his hands were "too strong to lay down!"). I got no help, and I was the bubble. Serves me right.

Glenn made the final table with a ton of chips and a few more bounties to add to his huge collection.

The prize pool was extremely top heavy, with first place winning a whopping 45%!!! 2nd through fifth won a much smaller amount.

Glenn was up and down during the final table play, but never in big danger of being eliminated.

He took out a couple more opponents and was the lucky winner of the $85 bonus bounty. That brought our total bounties up to a huge $265!!!

When play got down to four players, there was a big jump in blinds. They were 10/20k and three of the four players left had about 80k, all within 2k of each other. The chip lead, however, had about 550k! He was a nice guy whom I'd talked to for over an hour on my table.

Glenn realized that it had suddenly become a huge crapshoot for everyone except the chip lead, who was playing his big stack correctly.

Glenn proposed to the other three that they split the prize money evenly. They all realized how prudent this was, and the chip lead made the big tip. Everyone seemed happy about it.

I was playing in a dinky NLHE cash game there. 1/2 blinds on a Stud table. $40 min/$100 max buy-in. I made $56 in about 30 minutes, until Glenn's tournament ended.

We decided to head over to Riverside, which was rocking on a Saturday night, with the holiday weekend.

I started out at 4/8 HE, until I could get an Omaha seat. I was about even when I was called to O8. The players were actually playing pretty close to correctly at O8, and I couldn't catch a thing, so I was quickly down $60. I put my name back on 4/8.

The players in the 4/8 game were some of the worst I'd seen, even at RS. Lots of weird plays. In fact, the plays were so baffling that even today I'm trying to figure out what they could possibly have been thinking.

In one hand, there were a ton of limpers and I raised with AKo in MP. Many cold calls in LP. The flop came AKx, with two hearts. I bet right out in first position. I only got two callers, but they were the strangest calls I've ever seen. The first was this elderly man who bet and called down hands with no possible chance of winning. He also misstated his hands many times. I'm not sure how much of it was an act, and how much was genuine disability. I think it was some of both, but leaning towards just being totally unaware of what was going on. He was also drinking heavily.

As he was trying to call, a lady in LP was raising out of turn. She is the woman I spoke about yesterday who misplayed aces so badly that I quoted the old 2+2 expression "misplayed on every street."

She can be tricky, but most of her plays are odd just for oddness sake itself, it seems like. She is another soCallie, I believe, from overhearing her talk. She is very obese, old, and wears a wig. I'm sure her real hair cannot be nearly as hideous as the wig, but go figure. It is clear that she tries to take care of her appearance as best as possible for someone so overweight and at her age. So I'm not sure if the wig is due to cancer treatment, or just the type of thinning and balding that elderly women seems to stumble upon as they age. At any rate, she has money, and she has balls. She is trying to take care of herself and is clean and wears expensive clothing and jewelry, so I have nothing but positive to say in that regard (if you saw the people who frequent the RS, you would realize what a huge compliment this is).

She is aggressive and has balls. Only during promo hands does she play passively (like the aces in yesterday's post).

So she was raising me out of turn, just assuming that the elderly man was sooooooo slowly calling (his M.O.). George tried to halt things, and came back to the elderly man, who declared he would make it three bets, then. The table erupted saying that we can't play clock-wise, counter clock-wise, then clock-wise again, lol. Although I would like nothing more than to make it four bets myself, even I could not set my ethical standards aside long enough to take advantage of these two bumbling idiots.

I made it three bets, and no one raised again.

On the turn, the flush came right out. I looked at my opponents, but had no idea where they were coming from, given the clueless look on their faces. So I checked and the elderly man bet out. The woman called and I called, but while waiting for the river, the elderly man rechecked his hole cards and suddenly I knew I was still ahead.

I bet the blank river, getting called by both opponents.

The woman mucked instantly, the old man showed pocket queens!!! Yes, one heart. Whew!

Not long after this, we decided to leave for the night. It was past 10pm and we'd been in Laughlin since 1pm. I was beat and Glenn seemed whipped, too.

I had a few more good hands in that session. I played treys after a dozen or more limpers, lol, and flopped a set, which I bet the whole way. I could go on, but they were mostly straight up hands.

I recooped my $60 from Omaha, and made $100 more.

Good times!

Felicia :)
Last night:

-$60 (2-6 O8)
$110 Ramada Tourney ($60 buy-in, $170 bounties)
$160 (4/8 HE Kill)
$55 (1/2 NLHE)
=165 Net winnings for Saturday, September 2, 2006

(Total saved for new car pre-August 15 $2500. Current total $1785)