Monday, April 30, 2007

April Recap, May Goals and WSOP Heads Up

While April started with a downpour of cash into the Huff money buckets, the buckets sprung a little leak in the middle of the month. April was my best month so far this year, but I know I could have done better and I'm pretty disapointed with my effort level.

While my goal at the begining of the month was 60,000 hands of NL cash games, I only made it to 45,000. I knew 60,000 would be difficult since I had a 5 day vacation in the middle of the month, but 45,000 was still a sub par effort. I had too many days where I stopped playing at 2,500 hands instead of my target 3,000 and a few more where I had to stop after 1,500 or 2,000 because I'd lost my composure after some hard luck. I'll need to work on my mental toughness this month.

I also could have performed a little better in the time I spent playing. I came up just a hair short of my goal for cents per hand in the $1/$2 games and after a few massive beatings, I came up a good ways short of my goals for the $2/$4 games. Of course, the good news is I made more than enough to pay the bills for the month of April and that's really the most important thing.

In May, I'm once again going to shoot for 60,000 hands. Since I have no significant time consuming plans in May and there are 31 days instead of 30 I should be able to make it without too much difficulty. I'll once again be targeting 10 cents per hand in the $1/$2 games and instead of 20 cents per in the $2/$4, I'll be looking to make 15 cents a hand.

I'm also going to add in the goal of 15 workouts. As some of you know I'm in the middle of a weight loss bet with 4 friends that started in the beginning of January. It was supposed to end June 5th, but when the end of April rolled around and none of us were more than 1/2 way to out goal we decided to back off the weigh in until September 1st. So far I've lost about 12 of the 25 pounds I need to drop (I have put on some nice muscle tone though), and after a solid effort for the 1st 3+ months, I've totally slacked off the past few weeks. But, in the words of all of the world's slackers, "Tommorow, I'm going to get back on track!"

I'm going to go on record here and say if I don't make it to 60,000 hands and 15 workouts I'm going to need someone to chum me up and get on the pirahna phone.

Another thing on the horizon is the WSOP, which everyone (Everyone? Yes everyone!) knows was the genesis for this blog (This is my 128th post in less than a year!). This year unfortunately will not be the extravoganza that the 2006 WSOP was. While the WSOP is scalling up (they've gone to 55 tournaments this year up from 40 something last year) I'm scaling down.

On top of the money I lost in the tournaments last year, there was also a great deal of opportunity cost in spending three plus weeks in Vegas (my backers paid for almost all of the expenses so that wasn't a big deal - Thanks again guys and sorry!). It's expensive to not generate any of your standard income for almost a month.

This year I'm only going to play 3 events: $1,500 NL Hold 'em, $1,500 Limit Hold 'em and $1,500 Pot Limit Hold 'em which will take place on consecutive days starting on June 2nd. If I was to go deep in one of these events I'd probably stay and play at least 1 or 2 more. I was pleased to hear that they are doubling the number of starting chips this year, so for $1,500 we'll be getting 3,000 chips to start instead of 1,500 while the blind increases and level lengths remain constant. This means there will be even more play and a greater chance for skill to be the deciding factor.

For my backers from last year, if you're feeling brave (VERY brave) I'll give you a chance to take a piece of me again. I think I want about 40% of my own action which leaves 60% on the market.

If I win this year I'll pay out at 100% up to the amount you've lost on me in any WSOP tournaments and then 90% above that. For example, let's say you lost $1,000 of your investment last year and this year you have 25% of my total action. If I have a net win of $10,000 you'll get paid $2,350 ($10,000 X 25% = $2,500, but you'll get paid $1,000 at 100% and $1,500 at 90% or $1,350 so you're total = $2,350). Also I'll ask that whatever percentage of the action you take, you also take the same percentage of the expenses.

I hope everyone has a great May and I'll keep you posted on any significant (and some insignificant) happenings.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Chat Box Makes Me Crazy

At every online poker table there is a chat box where the players can talk to each other. Typically in the bigger games there is no chat whatsoever because most of the players are focused on playing instead of chatting. Some of the players just don't care to chat and others are playing in so many games that they can't pay attention to the chat and play at the same time (usually I fall into the latter category).But as you might imagine, there are some people that use the chat box even if no one is responding or paying attention.

The area where the chat is displayed has 4 tabs (chat, stats, info and notes) and I try to click on one of the other tabs so I'll have something on my screen in that area other than the chat. But the chat tab is the default sometime I can't help but notice what people are saying.

I think the original intent of the chat box was to make the game seem more like a real poker game where people are talking all the time. What it seems to be in actuality is a place for people to bitch about their bad luck to a bunch of people who don't care.

It's also a place for know it alls to show off how much they think they know. These guys always have names like "kidsgotskillz" or "thnx4yourmoney" or "Iruleallpoker" and none of them are any good. They tell the other players how bad they're playing (usually just after they lost a pot). They call other players donkeys (really!) which somehow became a term that people who think they are personally awesome in every way use for people who they think are bad poker players. Sometimes they shorten it to simply "donk" as in, "How could you call me there you ****ing donk!" Of course these mental giants often don't bother with full sentences and simply type in "DONK!" or my personal favorite "DONK DONK DONK!"

A few other common expressions that drive me bananas are "obv," and "omg." You'd be shocked (shocked!) to see how many people type in obv after they lose a pot in which they had the best hand at some point. To the best of my knowledge it means something along the lines of "OBViously that was going to happen...obviously I was going to lose that hand because the universe is against me...obviously I am a great player and the only way I could lose was if the fates smashed my hopes of winning that pot like a blacksmith smashing a egg on fiery anvil. Obviously."

OMG is short for "Oh My God" and it also typically comes out right after someone loses a pot. It always makes me think that the person saying it is a 13 year old girl. As in "Like, oh mah god...Tiffany (all 13 year old girls have friends named Tiffany)...I, like, just totally lost that pot to a TOTAL gut shot straight!"

For the record anyone who types in "omg obv" (I've seen it before) should be covered in chum and tossed into piranha infested waters.

A few times after people have won pots from me I've seen them type in "Oops." As in a (totally sarcastically) "Oops! Did I just win that pot? Oops I didn't want that to happen! OOPS! Sorry!" More frequently I find myself in a spot where I know my opponent either has something like a full house or absolutely nothing. So I call, and they have the full house and then they type in "thank you" or "ty." Bastards! Why can't they just take the pot and be happy about it? I have no patience for people who rub it in when they win. Once again, chum 'em up, get on the piranha phone, call in some piranhas, and chuck 'em into the water.

Like I said, I try not too look at the chat box and even if I do glance at it for whatever reason 99% of the time I have no reaction whatsoever. But today I happened to look down in one of my cash games and someone hit me with a "ty" after beating me in a big pot. Then a minute later in the one tournament I was playing (one of my freerolls) this guy says "Acesedai (that's my screen name) you are terrible. You are such a donk!"

"WHAT!" I thought. The thing that blew my mind here was not only had I not been involved in a pot with this guy, I hadn't done anything that was even close to unreasonable. I thought back and in the preceding half hour or so I'd only played three hands. Two of them were medium pairs and since the blinds were big and I was somewhat short stacked I moved all in. I got called once by AQ and won and the other time I'd stolen the blinds.

On the third hand, which was about 4 or 5 hands before this guy started yapping, I moved all in for about 4,000 from the button with A5. The blinds were 400/800 with a 50 chip ante so there was already 1650 in the pot and I would have been more than happy to just win the blinds. But the big blind had pocket tens and called me. I was about a 70/30 underdog, but I flopped an ace and won the pot.

So when the guy said what he said I responed with "Thanks, same to you." Which launched him into this massive rant about how I was moving in way to much and I didn't know what the hell I was doing. At this point he had less than 1,000 chips (I had over 8,000), so I said "Great, hows that 1,000 chip stack working out for you? Good luck with that." On the very next hand he goes broke. But I get more ranting from him concluded with "I KNOW you (meaning me) are a losing player!" WHAT! I know I should have just stopped reading, but I was getting cheezed off (I think that's what it was). So I replied "You couldn't be more wrong." There was a little more back and forth in there, but I can't exactly remember it.

Then presumably he used one of the various websites out there (like sharkscope and the pokerdb) where you can search other players by username and get a summary of their past results. I knew he'd looked me up because he started spiting back correct data about my past results while telling me how much I suck. Let me say that again. HE LOOKED UP MY RESULTS AND CONTIUED TO TELL ME HOW MUCH I SUCK! It made no sense.

So I looked him up. He'd played about 900 SNG's with an average buy in of $20 and was winning about 50 cents per. I won more today than he's won in all the SNG's he's ever played! I tried looking up his cash game stats, but they only keep track of games bigger than $1/$2 NL and $5/$10 limit and he had no data, meaning the biggest games he'd ever played in were smaller than those limits. I pointed out these facts to him and he told me how much I sucked. Somebody get on the piranha phone!

This is why I try to ignore the chat box.

Friday, April 20, 2007

E.B., Pai Gow, and the Dragon

Our favorite game to play in Vegas is Pai Gow Poker. The way the game works is every player is dealt 7 cards which they must split into a 5 card hand and a 2 card hand. You can split them any way you want with the one rule that the 5 card hand must have a higher poker rank than the 2 card hand. For example, if you got dealt A K J 8 8 7 5 as your 7 cards you couldn't make your 2 card hand a pair of 8's, but you could (and would) make your two card hand A K and your 5 card hand 8 8 J 7 5.

Once you've set your hand, the dealer turns over their hand and similarly splits their hand into a 2 card hand and a 5 card hand. If you beat the dealer's 2 card hand with your 2 card hand and their 5 card hand with your 5 card hand then you win. If you lose both hands you lose, and if you win one and lose one it's a push (or a tie) and no money changes hands.

The house makes their money by only paying out 95% on a winning bet (i.e. if you bet $100 you'll only get paid $95 when you win) and by winning exact copies (i.e. if you have KQ in the 2 card hand and the dealer also has KQ in their two card hand the dealer will win the 2 card hand portion, but if you beat them in the 5 card hand you won't lose your bet).

The reason this game is so good is the house has a very small edge compared to other casino games and it's much slower (speed is your enemy in the casino). You might get 120 rolls an hour at the craps table or 100 hands an hour at the black jack table (maybe 200-300 if it's just you and the dealer). Whereas at Pai Gow it's about 25-30 hands an hour and about 40% of those are pushes.

Now that we have that little explanation out of the way, on to the story. On Sunday night I spent the night at the Flamingo, while Jake was at the Paris and E.B. was at the MGM. Jake and I hooked up for breakfast at the Paris around noon and E.B. who'd already eaten said he'd meet us at the Pai Gow tables at the Paris between 1 and 2.
Around 2 o'clock I see E.B. walking from across the room in an apparent daze almost as if he isn't sure where he is. When he got to our table he said "finish this hand, and then I have to tell you the most ridiculous story."

Before heading to the Paris E.B. had decided to play a few hands of Pai Gow at the MGM. He was betting something like $100 a hand on each of two hands (If this sounds like a lot, it is; I usually bet $25 a hand and if things are going really well I might push it up to $50 a hand) when he came across the most tremendous dealer error.

In the past few months the MGM and it's sister properties have introduced a new bet at the Pai Gow table. You can deal 7 seven card hands from the deck which in the past used to be six player hands and a dealer hand. They've since switched it to a dealer hand, 5 player hands and The Dragon Hand (gasp)! The dragon hand is another hand that all 5 players can bet on. After the players look at their own hands and set them how they want, the dealer asks if anyone wants to "Bet The Dragon." Once the players have put their money in a betting circle which says "Dragon" or has a picture of a dragon on it, the dealer turns over their hand, sets it and then sets the dragon hand (they have rules to follow about how to set both hands). If the dragon hand beats the dealer's hand the players, as you might guess, win their dragon bet. If it loses or pushes they lose or push their dragon bet.

What happened at the table where E.B. was the only player was the dealer got confused about the order of operations on the dragon bet. Instead of asking E.B. if he wanted to bet the dragon BEFORE she turned over the dealer hand, she asked him AFTER he already saw what the dealer hand was!!! If she continued that way he wouldn't know what the dragon hand was going to be, but if the dealer showed a good hand he could avoid betting the dragon and if the dealer had garbage he could bet the dragon with a huge positive expectation. This is sort of like playing black jack if you could see both of the dealer's cards. You wouldn't win every hand, but you have such a huge advantage that it wouldn't take long to make some big money.

So E.B, who had come to Vegas with a nice wad of cash, pulled out $5,000 and bet $1,000 on the first hand. He had to go big on the regular hand, because the betting limit of the dragon bet is 2 times your regular bet. Also he was thinking that this was a limited time opportunity because at any time another player could sit down and correct the dealer or the pit boss could notice that the dealer was totally screwing up. In fact, as they normally do, the pit boss came over to watch the first hand that E.B. put $1,000 out there. But before the dealer could say anything or do anything to tip off the pit boss that she was going in the wrong order E.B. said "just kill the dragon hand, I'm not going to bet it this time."

Unfortunately, E.B. got a mediocre hand and lost to the dealer's hand. By the next hand, the pit boss had moved on and again E.B. bet $1,000. This time the dealer got a strong hand so E.B. opted to not bet the dragon and sadly lost his hand again. On the third hand with another $1,000 out there he got dealt a hand that contained no straights, flushes, pairs or cards above jack. A monumentally bad hand. But, the dealer got dealt a king high with no straights or flushes. An almost equally terrible hand. While E.B. knew he would lose his hand he was almost sure to win the dragon hand. So he bet the maximum $2,000 on the dragon hand...and lost! Not only did he not win, but he didn't even push. What a total disaster!

I broke out my probability book and did some calculations. 92% of the time you'll be dealt an ace high or better and of the remaining 8% a good chunk of them would at least push against an average king high. He got TOTALLY screwed at the absolute worst possible time and to make it worse he was out of money so he couldn't try to get it back.

While I'm pretty risk adverse for a professional gambler, in a spot where I'm getting paid even money on a bet where I'm a 10 to 1 favorite, I'd gladly bet $2,000 in a second. To put it into perspective let's say I give you a chance to draw from a deck of cards. If you draw any 2 or the 3 of clubs I win. If you draw anything else you win. How much would you bet if you were 100% sure it was a fair deck?

There's actually more to the story and it involves what happened when he got to the Paris, but that will have to wait for a day or two. Aren't these minor cliff hangers and teasers awesome!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Poker Comeback and E.B.'s Disaster

Today I have two more stories worth mentioning for my recent trip to Vegas. The first is a poker story. On Monday Jake, Brian and I made our way to the MGM poker room to play in a $125 no limit hold 'em tournament. The poker room was dead and only 22 people ended up playing, which according to the staff was a very low turn out even for a Monday (there had been 63 players the night before).

We started with 3,000 chips, blinds of 25/50 and 30 minute limits with Brian and Jake at the same table. I spent the early rounds chatting with two British guys who were about my age and folding almost all of my hands. As a whole the field was weak and inexperienced.

Jake was eliminated about an hour and a half into the tournament and as we combined into one table I was just shy of an average chip stack while Brian had somewhat more than average. They were paying 4 places so I liked the chances of at least one of us making it to the money. Brian quickly won a huge pot and found himself in great shape, but after a few mistakes and a little bad luck he went out 6th.

Meanwhile I'd been able to steal the blinds a few times, but hadn't really picked up a real hand and found myself severly short stacked. At the start of the 7th level the blinds jumped from 400/800 with a 100 chip ante to 800/1600 with a 200 chip ante. This is a ridiculous jump at this stage and only in a total bullshit tournament like this would a blind increase like this fly.

When this big jump happend we'd just come back from a break, were playing 5 handed and I was the short stack with 4000 chips. I threw out my 200 ante and planned on moving all in with almost anything. The 4 remaining players were playing super tight trying to make the money and the player in the big blind (we'll call him Captain Red Shirt) was a poor enough player that I thought he might fold to what amounted to a minimum raise. Sadly I looked down at 5 3 off suit and decided I'd go with whatever I got in the big blind.

In the big blind I almost caught a big break. After the other players folded, the guy in the small blind, the poorly skilled Captain Red Shirt, spent about 20 seconds looking at his cards like one was a deuce and the other was a zero. He was in a spot where given our realative stacks and the situation he should have raised with 100% of hands instantly. I was thinking, "Fold, fold, fold it you jerk! Folding, folding is the play that will work!"

The player two to my left (we'll call him Mellow Yellow) was also running low on chips with a little over 4000 and I thought if I could make it throught the blinds I might be able to out last him. The Captain was uninfluenced by my psychic suggestions and instead of folding he just called. I looked down at 6 9 which I thought might be the best hand, but I decided to look at the flop before commiting the last of my chips. Unfortunately the flop came down K J J and my opponent bet like he hit something. While I was planning on betting if it got to me I couldn't call with 6 9.

I resolved to call with anything in the small blind since I'd have half of my already meager stack committed to the pot. But, when everyone but Mellow Yellow called in front of me and I looked down at 7 4 I decided to let them take the flop along with the big blind. I was hoping that two of the three players would make big hands and one would go broke, putting me in the money. Of course Red Shirt bet and the other two folded.

Now I was down to 800 with 45,200 chips split up among my opponents with every hand costing me 200. My next hand was 7 2 and I folded. The hand after the Red Shirt came in for a raise and I folded J 4. The next one was 8 5 and I decided to give everyone else one more chance to do something stupid and wait until the last possible hand to go all in. So I was all in on the next hand for 200 chips (1/15th of what I'd started with and 1/46th of the average stack) and in the big blind spot.

I frowned when I saw the player on the button (he doesn't get a name) come into the pot along with Red Shirt in the small blind. I looked down at k 5 of clubs and was happy to see a flop of 7 7 3 with two clubs. To my total shock and surprise Captain Red Shirt bet enough to put the player on the button all in. This is a spot where unless one player flops a monster hand, both players will check all the way in an effort to eliminate the short stack (me) and get them both into the money. I was even more surprised to see the player on the button call! Now if I could manage to make the best hand AND have Red Shirt some how beat the player on the button, I'd make the money. I knew my chances were slim since all I had was king high, but at least I had a chance.

I was shocked (shocked!) to see Red Shirt (who had been the one betting) turn over 9 10 (no pair, no draw) and the other player show A 3 (a pair of 3's). The turn card was literally the best card in the deck, the 9 of clubs! Now I had a flush, AND the player with the most chips had the second best hand. The river was a blank and I was in the money!

After winning that pot I had 1,000 chips and after putting 200 in for the ante and 800 for the small blind I was all in again. I picked up A 2, the best hand I'd seen in a while and crossed my fingers. After taking the flop three way, Red Shirt bet and the other player folded. The board was 9 7 5 with 2 spades and even though I didn't have anything, I thought ace high might be good. I was sad to see that Red Shirt had J 5 of spades meaning I'd need a non spade ace to win. I was standing up to go when a red 6 came on the turn and a red 8 came on the river making a straight on the board. Now I was up to 1600.

On the next hand we got the confrontation you've all been waiting to hear about. The clash of the titans. Mellow Yellow picked up pocket 9's and went broke when Captain Red Shirt made a pair of J's after starting with K J. This moved me into 3rd place. I managed to run my stack up to over 5,000, but went broke in a hand which has since left my memory.

The difference between 5th and 3rd was $440 and the whole thing left me with a good feeling. They say all you need is a chip and a chair to make a comeback in a tournament and this tournamnet was proof of that concept.

The bad news is, I've now spent too much time writing about myself and you'll have to wait until tomorrow or the next day to hear about E.B.'s disaster. It is much more dramatic, both in terms of dollar amount (roughly 11.36 times as dramatic) and unusual nature.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Whisky City and Vegas

Before I get to anything else I want to congratulate Brian Ridgeway and his fiance' Andrea on their engagement! As soon as I hooked up with Brian in Vegas the first thing he did was tell me the good news. I was pleseantly surprised since I didn't know he was planning on proposing, but at the same time I was not at all surprised that he would want to marry such a fantastic woman. He said they have a tentative date of May 10th 2008 and will be getting married in Maryland. Also they've asked me to perform the ceremony! Very exciting stuff.

Now on to other topics. I managed to survive my vacation and now that it's over it seemed like it lasted about 45 seconds. The festivities started on Saturday night with the Whiskies of the World convention at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Jake, E.B. and I got to the hotel about 5 p.m. about 30 minutes before the event was going to start. After a short wait someone handed us a tote bag (for free goodies), we grabbed a few glasses and off we went.

I knew there was going to be a good amount of whisky at this event since it was $115 a person, but I wasn't sure how much waiting in line there would be or if the pours would be so insubstantial that it would be hard to get a buzz going. It turns out that it was a completely unlimited amount. There were roughly 50 vendors, each had between 3 and 6 of their best whiskies and there was virtually no waiting once we got into the tasting room.

We'd walk up to a table start with the 12 year stuff, then compare it to the 18 year and finally to the 21 year. We even tried two or three 30 year old scotches and whiskies which were over $400 a bottle. Three or four vendors had some other kind of hard alcohol in addition to their whisky and there was one that was exclusively gin and two that were vodka only.

Any worries I had about pour size were quelled in the first 5 minutes. While it was usually just a splash for the highest end stuff, it was a 1/2 shot or more for even the $100 a bottle stuff. And if it wasn't enough you could just ask for more. But after the first few I stuck to the plan of having a little taste and then dumping the rest in the dump bucket because I wanted to try at least one thing from every vendor (I think I hit about 75% of them) and like I said every vendor had at least 3 different whiskies.

Happily, there was also a huge table covered in hundreds and hundreds of bottled waters and a buffet that lasted all night. We hit the buffet three times and between the three of us probably had 25 bottles of water. During our first pit stop at the buffet we started asking each other if we knew exactly what the difference between a Bourbon and a regular whisky or a Scotch was. It turns out that none of us really knew, but the guy at the next table over heard us and ended up giving us an impromptu 10 minute lesson on what differentiates the various kinds of whisky.

All in all it was a great night. I managed to avoid a massive hangover in part due to the constant refueling and in part due to the fact that my stomach could only handle so much straight whisky. I found a few jewels and discovered conclusively that I prefer Bourbon or Kentucky whisky to Scotch. You can check out the pictures I took here

The next day we left Oakland airport at around 3 p.m. and after a little over an hour of the most turbulent plane ride I can remember we landed in Vegas. Before the trip I called a few hotels about getting a free room, but because there was one of the biggest conferences of the year in town (some kind of broadcasting conference) the only place I could manage was the Flamingo. Luckily E.B. was able to swing a free room at the MGM and the Paris so we had plenty of hotel space to go around.

The genesis of the trip was the fact that Brian was going to be in town for 4 days for a conference. He's an Oracle database administrator working for the U.S. census bureau and was attending an Oracle conference with his coworker Tom. Tom is an avid reader of this very blog (Hey Tom) and it was very interesting having someone who you've never met know a lot about you. Instead of "I heard your wife was pregnant" it was "So when is Jen going to have her next ultrasound?" While I might hear from a friend of a friend "I heard you were a poker player?" From Tom I got "I know April started out strong for you, how's it been going since?" To his credit, despite the fact that he was the least seasoned gambler among the 5 of us (by a mile), he was the only one who to my knowledge ended up winning for the trip.

For the most part the trip was a pretty standard Vegas Trip with plenty of drinking, eating and gambling but there were a few highlights. The first highlight was the best meal I've ever had (without a doubt) at 2 in the morning. We spent Monday and on into the early hours of Tuesday playing at the MGM. We'd had a late although sizable lunch but we skipped dinner, so by 2 a.m. we were all starving. After speaking to the pit boss we got a comp for a free meal at the Studio Cafe which was the only restaurant that was still open at the MGM. Every casino has one restaurant that's open 24 hours and I knew from experience that this one was one of the best.

The four of us (Tom split off earlier in the evening) sat down and as it usually does, the thing on the menu that caught my eye was the steak and lobster. Everyone else started mentioning the shrimp cocktail and we decided it was time to find out if there was a dollar limit on our comp. When our waiter came back we said "What's the limit on the comp" and he said (knowing he was going to get tipped based on the total) "It's unlimited, you can each get a 15 piece shrimp cocktail and a filet and lobster with desert and a bottle of wine if you want." Not wanting to over do it we only got two 15 piece shrimp cocktails ($35 per) for the table and a platter of chicken fingers (with 4 dipping sauces) that must have cleared an entire hen house. And, of course, all four of us got the steak and lobster. Throw in a few deserts and a half dozen 1 litre bottles of Fiji water and the bill came out to $357. Getting a meal like that for free made those of us that lost that night (not me, ha ha losers!) feel a little better about losing.

There is one major highlight and one MAJOR lowlight from the trip which will have to wait for tomorrow. The first one is about a miraculous comeback I had in a small poker tournament at the MGM and the other is about an unbelievably favorable situation that E.B. came across that ended up TOTALLY screwing him over. Both are stories that you will not want to miss.

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Baby Step Back

After 8 straight winning days, I took a small step back by booking small losses on Wednesday and Thursday. I'm still kicking ass and feel very comfortable with how I'm playing.

I think it's going to be difficult to make it to my goal of 60,000 hands in April. I'm taking today off and after I play for a few hours tomorrow morning I'll be at 25,000 hands. The big bump in the road is the 5 day vacation that I'll be starting tomorrow afternoon which I've really been looking forward to.

For Jake's birthday E.B. and I got him and ourselves, tickets to the 8th Annual Whiskies of the World Expo which takes place at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. I first heard about this event while watching an episode of Modern Marvels on distilling a few years back and have wanted to go ever since.

While I wouldn't consider myself a big whisky drinker by any stretch and I usually stick with wine or beer if I'm drinking, I have been known to sip on a glass if the occasion calls for it. Anyway it was $115 a person and there are supposed to be over 200 whiskies to taste so it should be an amazing event.

For anyone worried about my well being I promise to limit it to 100 shots of whisky and drive slow on the way home. Just kidding, Jen is going to drive us to the BART station (it's just like the subway, but it has a stupid name) before and pick us up after. Also the event features an evening long buffet and various speakers and it's only 4 hours long so while I expect to be intoxicated at the end, I won't be falling down dangerous drunk.

Then on Sunday Jake, E.B., Brian Ridgeway and I will be gambling away in Vegas for three days. The wives and girlfriends are staying home which for some guys would be a good thing, but since we all have awesome wives and girlfriends who like to Vegas it up as much as we do we'll miss them on this trip. I can hear the crys of "yeah right" and "You are an ass kisser, Huff!" coming from all directions, but it's true. Our ladies like to gamble and have a drink or two just as much as we do, we love then and enjoy their company!

When I get back, it will be back to work, but for now I'm looking forward to the time off.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

This is Getting Pleasantly Ridiculous

It's days like today that make me love my lifestyle. I woke up and played for 4 hours. For my lunch break I took a 4 hours to watch the entire 4th round of the Masters. Then I played another 2 hours or so. Over the course of those 6 hours of play I won $1,532 which is my best day so far this year.

I have been totally dominating ever since I swtiched to playing these no limit cash games. So far in April (in 8 days!) I've won $4,417. I'm winning 22.7 cents a hand in the $1/$2 games and 31.8 cents a hand in the $2/$4 games!

I feel like I've finally gotten a chance to rebuild my bankroll a little and replenish my reserves. Hopefully I can keep up anything even close to this pace.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What's In a Name?

I've had a few different names on a few different poker sites and over the course of the past three years I've played against certainly thousands and probably tens of thousands of different players. Some people have names like AApoker, Igotthenutz, or treysfull21, others have names like BigJohn32 or StudSteve and still others have names that are as far as I can tell total nonsense such as Earyda342. But, in the mix of all of those names a few people come up with clever or at least interesting monikers.

My name ACESEDAI is no doubt confusing to most people. What it's supposed to be is Ace Sedai and it's a poker related spin on Aes Sedai, who are the most powerful characters in the series of books The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordon. I think the people who get it think it's clever. But I can tell from the chat box that most people think it's supposed to be Aces edai whatever the hell that would be. I know someone thought it was supposed to be pronounced like aces die and I'm sure others have thought my name was Ed and I was trying to say aces, Ed, artifical inteligence.

I wish I'd made a note of all of the best names that I've seen, but there are only a few that have stuck with me. Maybe my favorite one is Sarahbellum. When I saw that one I thought to myself anyone making clever references to a specific part of the brain is probably not an idiot. Two funny ones I remember are NuclearFart and Upay4myweed.

The main inspiration for this post though was the following name

>///' > ooO.

At first I looked at it and thought "What the hell kind of name is that?" But upon closer inspection I saw that it's actually a fish blowing 3 bubbles (I can almost hear a chorus of "Ohhhhhhhh yeeaaaaahs" in the distance). Although, it's no doubt a pain in the ass to enter a username that requires heavy use of the shift key, I thought it was a neat username.

In other news April is off to a good start. Happily I've turned things around in the $1/$2 games and while I've been unable to continue the furious pace in the $2/$4 games, I'm still thrilled with how it's going so far. After 4 days I've played 5,117 hands of $1/$2 and won $1,196 (23.3 cents per hand) and I've played 4,607 hands of $2/$4 and won $849 (18.4 cents per hand). So far I'm right on track in terms of making it to 60,000 hands and making it to over $10,000 for the month.

Jen and I are both taking today off to go visit our accountant and do our taxes for 2006. AWESOME! Happily I've made some quarterly payments to the IRS and all of those massive WSOP losses are tax deductible so the damage shouldn't be too bad. But, since all I can do is guess about how much I owe it's still a little (or a lot) stressful.

I'll also be taking tomorrow off since I need a little break. I've played at least some poker for 17 straight days (12 wins and 5 losses) and I've got 7 straight full work days on my calender starting Saturday if I'm going make it to 30,000 hands before I leave for Vegas on the 15th.

My WSOP 2023 Plans and Missions

After four and a half years working for StubHub I wrapped up my time there in March. I've been at the poker tables 3-4 days a week since...