Friday, January 05, 2007

Doughboys #2

For my birthday this year, I convinced myself, and then my wife, that I should take a night for live poker. Online, I get a good number of table hours in on the weeknights and weekends as I usually play while the family watches TV and/or does homework. However, live poker is another experience all together. While you can multitable and win more playing over the internet, there is much more to the live game. Jordan, from High on Poker, catches this sentiment well by referring to internet poker as 'poker lite.'

Checking the calendar at the local cardroom, Doughboys, I saw they had what they call a Chas'em tournament coming up. Doughboys is a legal cardroom. They get by with this because the house makes no money from the game being played. There is juice and rake but it all goes back to the players in one form or another. The juice and rake cover the bad beat jackpot and Tournament of Champions. The TOC is a freeroll for the winners of 12 qualifier tournaments held in the calendar year, one per month. The rake and juice also cover the back to back jackpot and the $25 bounty on the head of the previous weeks winner. If someone wins two tournaments back to back, they take down a jackpot that climbs by $5 each week it isn't hit. The cardroom also has a security system with many cameras and a door lock with a remote. The chas'em is a low buy-in/low rebuy tournament with rebuys for the first 40 minutes (2 levels).

I arrived to find 9 players in a cash game playing until the tournament started. I sat in for an orbit and dropped $15. I lost $10 overcalling a bet preflop with 4 others only to lay it down after the flop. This was the second session I've had at this cardroom. The first was for another tournament with limited rebuys earlier in the year. There was a memorable hand from that first night. I was low stacked in the big blind with a pair of sixes. The big stack bully put a raise out for 4 times the Big Bet in 5th position. This was a common occurrence. His father on the button reraised him all in to 6 times the BB. I was sitting on about 8 times the BB and decided to push here as the blinds were moving up soon. I push and it gets back to the early position bully. He thinks about it for a while. The table points out his odds, 4 more BBs to win 17. After some time he ends up folding. I think he didn't want to suckout to knock his father out of the tournament, but I didn't say anything about it. It ends up that his father had Aces against my sixes. His son then mentions he folded a six and that he had 68o. The father deals a flop full of blanks, a blank on the turn, and peals the case 6 off the deck on the river to knock himself out and put me in a better situation. I went on to finish 2nd in that tournament. They said they had a history of first time visitors cashing, and it held true in my case. This was over 8 months ago and I'm sure I've lost any image I had before I could capitalize on it.

The cash game broke up so we could get ready for the tournament. We two tables of players to start. We all started with T$1000 and low blinds with 20 minute levels. My table had some gamble on it, which I liked. I found myself up to T$1400 when I took down an early pot without a showdown. Later, I get AQs in late position. The flop doesn't help, so I fold. The next hand I get AQh, and put a chip on top of them. Play works its way around, and we get 4 to the flop, two before me and one after. The flop comes low with two spades. By the time the flop comes out, I get this hand confused with the last one and think I'm looking for spades. First to act bets, second folds, I call and 4th calls. The turn is a spade. I think I've got the nut flush. First goes all in, I call and then look at my cards. Ugh. Now I'm hoping I can muck, but there is one card to come and the others have shown. They have the flushes I thought I had. I show anyway and am drawing dead. Rebuy.

Later in the second level, I am dealt AA. I haven't been playing a lot of hands, and the time I did raise 4x the BB, everyone folded. Because of this and since I'm still at the rebuy level, I decide I'll either win a big pot or rebuy with this hand. I limp in early position. 5 total to the flop of K56 with two of a suit. I bet about 3/4 of the pot. It's called and then raised all in. Another player calls the all in, and I push over. A player after me calls mine, and the original caller calls my all in as well. I played this hand way too weakly and am up against too many hands. I'm against a TPTK, a flush draw and a straight draw. neither of the draws hit and I'm sitting on about T$6k.

Here's a quick flashback to my first visit to DoughBoys that will shed some light on the next part of my story. In the cash game, I'm in the small blind with Kings. There are five limpers and I throw in $12 to see who is serious or pick up the pot right there. Doughboys has a rule for verbally declaring raises. If you bet, you don't have to announce it. However, if you raise, you need to say raise before the chips hit the table, or it is just a call. This is to eliminate confusion, but a lot of guys forget. In this hand, I was one of a lot of guys. Because of the rule, I limp and everyone knows I have a big hand. The flop has an ace and with that many in, I check and it's obvious I had a strong hand. Doughboy in the big blind raises and everyone else folds. Of course I do too. Thinking about this afterwards, I realize that this rule creates an angle. Preflop in late position with a low pair (sixes for example) or a drawing hand (87h) a player can throw out a big bet but not announce, knowing it will result in a limp. If the flop comes low and hits the pair or draw, it will be well disguised. If it comes high, position and the previous attempted bet may win the pot. I decide this isn't an angle I want to exploit, so I just note it and leave it.

Back to the tournament, in seventh position I am dealt 83s. I realize I have a tight image and when it gets to me with 2 limpers, I decide to steal it and throw in a bet 5x the BB. Accidentally I forget to say raise and have to pull back 4 BBs. Two of the three players after me get excited. It's easy to see that they want to get in cheap and take a shot at stacking my 'big hand' if they hit the flop hard. The small blind who likes to entertain the table calls also. The flop comes QQT. It's checked to me and I say 'that's my flop, right?' Since I was the one with the 'good cards' and the flop had no undercards, it was in my neighborhood. I bet 6 BBs and it folded down to the sb. He thought for a bit and folded, 'You aren't playing much, you gotta have a big hand.' The other two folded also. I showed down the bluff, hoping it would get me more action down the road. It didn't win me a lot of T$ but it set up future action and the table reacted thought it was funny.

When we combined to one table, there was one big stack with two-thirds of the chips in the game. He was acting like Jamie Gold*, being table captain and willing to race the smaller stacks. I was in the neighborhood of the middle stacks so I waited for a good hand and let a few of the smaller stacks get knocked out. With the rebuys and add ons added up, the pay structure was set up to pay four spots.

We were down to six players and two players had taken some off of the leader. He didn't adjust to the new balance of chips, raced one of the bigger stacks, and lost. That knocked him down to a little above me.

We lose another player and I'm sitting in 4th out of 5. The small stack is behind me and is staying out of the way. When he picks up a pot to get closer to my stack size, I start to pressure him when I get the chance (If no one else raises to him, I do) since he is waiting for a hand. Then I get AKo. I raise it up to 4 BB. I had a rockish image again and my M was getting low. The former big stack pushed and I called. I had him dominated vs Ax. The x didn't hit anything and I doubled up.

The next orbit we get it in again in the reverse role, with me having AT against his bigger stack. He won some back, but I was still up above where I was before. He went out a few hands later, finalizing a huge slide from huge chip leader to bubble boy. His grating attitude along with the drop off he had made it the 'do you believe that' story of the tournament. I'm sure that's one that will follow him around as he seems to be an ego player - one who likes to talk about how good he is.

The guy with the smallest stack went out leaving 3 of us. The payscale went up nearly linearly from $110 to $140 to $180 with a bump up to $280 for first. The difference up to 2nd wasn't much, but it was worth taking a chance to get a better shot at first. Also there is the back-to-back jackpot to consider on top of the payouts.

I was sitting on about half the stacks of the other two, who were close to even. We had a lot of back and forth play amongst us. I had A9 in the button and said let's make it 4x the BB. The BB caught my error before I placed the chips, and gave me a wide eyed look to remind me that I needed to say raise. The SB folded and the BB pushed. I could tell from his ensuring my raise was done correctly and counted that he had a good pocket pair. I thought about it for a bit and said, "If I thought I had two overs, I'd be willing to race" as I folded face up. He showed pocket jacks.

Later, a hand came where I had pocket sixes on the button. I just limp. The SB raises and the BB pushes. I think about it and come to the conclusion that one or both of them has a middle or better pocket pair. I fold, as does the SB. I was suprised by his fold. Turns out they both had an ace with the BB having the AK. Without knowing their hands, I should have picked this as my spot to push. My M was down low and I'd be pushing soon anyway. I ended up busting on an anticlimatic hand a bit later for third place. This kept my cashing ratio at 2 for 2.

Overall my experiences at this card room have been good. The players, owner and dealer have been good guys and the play has been entertaining. I'll have to make more of an effort to return more frequently.

Next up on this space, you may see a recap of December, my first month in PokerWorld.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The PokerWorld, Chico, and everything in it.

Since the beginning of December, I've shifted my play from PokerStars to a much smaller site. I'm happy with this change and wanted to relate the experience to the Wayward Searcher and readers of this blog. The intention of this post is not to grow affiliate traffic at the site, with the current situation of being financially linked with the operation of a pokersite.

The first of December I received an email from a poker related site that I'm not sure if I can mention here. I'll check on this and make another post on it if possible. The nature of the situation may give my readers enough information to guess what I'm talking about, but Wayward Searchers, as usual, are lost. This email contained enough incentive for me to check out PokerWorld. Looking at their homepage, there are various promotions. They have a 20% bonus on all deposits, freerolls, a football pick'em promotion, King/Jack of the day, and 2006 WSOP involvement. The football promotion was a bit unclear. They had large dollar figures but didn't specify if it was limited to players at the site, or what was needed to win cash. The King/Jack of the day looked intriguing. PokerWorld picks a table type for the King and for the Jack, currently $2/$4 LHE and $5/$10 LHE. Each day they track who had the most hands (I'm unsure if the hand being raked is a requirement) on those tables. The top five players for the day with hand counts above 250 are given prizes for both tables. No prize wasn't given out the previous day, so it looks like they don't get much traffic at those levels or they don't update this promotion often. (update: the King/Jack promotion is no longer mentioned on the site) The mention of the 2006 WSOP tie ins were interesting, even if it was too late to capitalize on them, because they showed that those packages do (or did) exist.

At this point, I was willing to give it a shot. I downloaded the software (over duh-ial up) and installed. Their client was okay. To go to tournaments, you needed to click a button that opened a second client window. In cash games they offered Hold'em, Omaha, and Stud. Hold'em had the majority in not all of the traffic. In Hold'em, about two-thirds of the traffic is on the micro NLHE games. I set up an account with $500 (play money, of course). It was easy to get into the $10NL or $20NL games. There was usually one or two $100NL or $200NL games going on.

For the last year, I've been a LHE player on Stars, using PokerTracker and PokerAce HUD. Playing on this site would mean I'd have to adapt to NL play and cast aside my data crutches. In the last two weeks, my $500 has turned into more than a grand. I've had a couple big hands. A couple of $100 dollar hands, one with AA vs KK, and QQ vs KK with a Q on the flop. I also lost $100 on a hand with KK vs TT, all in preflop, with a T on the turn. Mostly, it has been in $20 and $50 chunks. There are bad players here. Monday night, an action $200NL table was full. It had big pots and players per flop. I got in and on the other side were three stacks around $300 and another just over $200. In the next 20 minutes, there were two stacks above $500. One player ran his up to $700, and then back down again when he got in a match with the other big stack. I stayed around until he left and made $50 off him. After he was gone another player mentioned that he ran off $600 the day before. I won $80 from him on a KK hand with an AAx flop. He called my continuation bet with me acting last. He checked the river and so did I, and the pot was mine.

The software does not show history, so losing mucked cards are truely mucked. Getting a seat is a bit tricky. If you leave a table with more than the max, you have to return with that amount, which is all well in good. However when you try to enter the table, if you try the max, you lose the seat. You don't get a reminder asking if you want to join with the previous amount. Multi-tabling doesn't always bring the table needing action to the front. It's worse if you have a browser window open also. The bet amounts aren't all displayed unless you put your cursor above the stack of chips. They automatically show you the amount in the pot before the betting round, and the total amount including all action to that point, so you can either deduce the bet amount from that, or place the cursor on the chips.

In my two weeks, here are the things that stand out to me. The bonus is very slow to clear. It clears in $10 increments. The bonus points have little value. You can use them to buy into tournaments, but they accumulate slowly. The guarantees that they run are mostly rebuys. It appeared to me that it was a freezeout, but I was mistaken. The guarantee is set up that with the rebuys and the minimum number of players, it should reach the guarantee. If the posted time goes by, it will wait around until they get the minimum number of players. It seems to share players with check and fold as well as a few other sites, and the players are aware of this. There are strict cash out rules to the site. You must send them a copy of your ID to be eligible. If you are eligible, there will be a $15 fee, unless you meet the following three rules:
1) Previous deposit made through Neteller (maybe same method - mine was Neteller)
2) No withdrawal of any type has been made in the previous 7 days.
3) The account has been open and active for the last 30 days.

I plan to continue to try this place out exclusively and see how I do there. One bit of wisdom that has gone around the poker blogger group is that a bad interface and low volume of players will keep out the sharks. I can see that here so far. If something more develops of this, I'll try to provide an update post.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sponsored Post: Card Room Supply

First an update on ReviewMe. Other bloggers have weighed in on this topic with much discussion, but I think it is mainly a rehash of previous ad revenue discussions, with personal opinions of those behind ReviewMe interjected. They kept up their end of the bargain for the first post I did. I received the payment about two weeks later, proving to me that there is cash flow from this. About three weeks later, I've received the first legitimate review offer from Card Room Supply. Which, if you continue to read this post past the first paragraph, you'll noticed I've accepted. Before I get into the actual review, I want to offer up a suggestion to the ReviewMe business model. As most already know, they split the fee with the blogger from the advertiser for the review. In the past, I've done a couple of product reviews in exchange for samples of the product. Cash is very liquid, but I like the samples. I'd rather have twice the money to use in the advertisers store to buy a product, and then post the review. With that deal, the advertiser would most likely give more, since they would write off the item at cost. They'd probably be willing to pay out more in store credit. I suggest that ReviewMe offers that option to the advertiser, where applicable. I'd bet it would be a more involved post and not as dry as some of the reviews we've seen (and done) up to this point.

At first glance, you notice that Card Room Supply has a great selection of tables. I would say this is their strength. Their selection runs from the common fold out table top to fancy legged fixed tables with lots of thick wood used and matching chairs. They will even do custom graphics on the felt. They also include various other game tables in their selection. Both board games and casino games are available.

They have a modest selection of chips, chip sets, chip cases chip racks, Copag playing cards, and any button you'll possibly need. If you are setting up a serious poker game, they offer a selection of drop boxes.

The bottom tab on their sidebar menu includes a few interesting items. They include a Poker Tournament Timer, Dealer DB, All in Tournament Organizer and Timer. The Timers and the Dealer DB are useful things for players to have for informal games. It saves the pain of resetting the microwave every so often, or missing the beep over all the action. I have the Dealer DB and have been pleased with it's set-up, design and use. The other timers appear to offer more aid, possibly with setting up the structure and controlling the blinds, ante, starting chip count and level time to manage the tournament but I may be mistaken.

The Dealer DB seems to be a little pricey, but I received mine through involvement with Poker Source Online and didn't pay cash for it. The tables can get expensive, but they appear to be worth it.

ScurvyDog also has a review of these guys posted. Feel free to remark on this company if you have experience with them in the comment section.

I feel like I owe my site better and more content after posting this so . . . Coming Soon! I've deposited a bunch of cash at a smaller site and have been trying it out. I'll relate my experiences there next week, hopefully.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Argosy Trip Report - 11/11th and 12th (Lawrenceburg, Kentucky)

Just returned from a nice trip to the boat this last weekend. My friend had procured 4 tickets to the Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers game on the 12th. We decided to turn it into a gambling weekend with an overnight at the Argosy casino in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Over Saturday evening, we all separately arrived at the casino. I must have shown up at a busy time, as the main parking garage was full. They rerouted me a few blocks down the road into their alternate garage. There were numerous warnings to get my stub stamped or I'd have to pay a dollar to leave. After they bussed me back to the casino, I handed the shakey valet in the window my stub. He extended his tattooed arm back with my stamped stub, and also handed me $5. I couldn't tell if he thought he was making change or if they were paying me for parking down the street, so I acted like I knew he was going to pay me and walked away wit! h the money. When I got upstairs, I ran into a couple from the bus. They got the $5 as well. I spent the rest of my walk wondering how I could take advantage of this system where I get paid $5 to let them stamp a stub. Now that I think about it, that is probably why the girl at the parking garage was pushing the button and handing the parking passes to everyone that came in.

My friends were at the roulette table when I found them. The table was full, which was fine with me. Soon, they busted out or accepted fate and pulled what was left of their money of the table. They offered to railbird me while I played, but I was fine leaving the casino up $5. Only one of them would be willing to play at the poker tables on the boat, so we didn't do that while everyone else was there. Before we left, I needed to get change for some smaller bills, if you can follow my logic. I had a roll full of $20s, which were about 20x too big for where we were headed. At the cashier I asked if they could break the $20s, and bit when the kid told me he couldn't do it. He called me back and we did the deed. I toked him a $1 since he got me with the joke and we were off.

We had planned on playing poker back in the room, between all of us. I had brought my PokerSourceOnline chip set and case (which has the Copaq cards substituted in and a PokerDB button with blinds timer also). We didn't get to that though, because from the bar, one guy had too much to drink and bailed.

My poker friend and I left the other three guys and headed back to the casino - two guys weren't interested in going to the game and just came to hang out and gamble. We put our names in for the $3/$6 limit game and they put us on the same table. I got my chips while my friend said he needed to hit the bathroom first. I sat down in the 4s and started in right away, without having to post or wait for the BB. A couple of orbits went by and my friend still wasn't back. I was concerned, but didn't yet venture from the card room looking for him. Another orbit, and then I tried to call him. Two orbits later, I spot him at another table. He said they put him there when he came back. So I play for a while, get up a little. Have one hand where QQ flops the top set on an all club board with maybe 5 in the pot. An early position limper raises on the flop, I reraise and everyone else drops out. She ju! st calls. Either she has the flush, or she's drawing to it, I think. The next card pairs the 5, and she bets. At this point I'm thinking she has the flush, but I don't understand why she still raised when the board paired. She had sat down very recently and probably doesn't have a read on me as a tight player yet. I reraise to see how far she'd go, but she just called. She carried herself smartly with little talk, so I started to half expect the lower full house now. Quad Fives didn't enter my mind. The river was a blank, and she bet again. I raised and she called. She had the King high flush, and I had a nice sized pot.

A younger player comes to the table a little later, and one of the players remarks "He's back for some more" to his girlfriend, so I peg him for being loose and/or weak. At one point I raise on the flop by throwing out 6 chips. He's not in the hand but he complains that I didn't have to say raise, and a dealer got on him earlier for string betting. The third time he brings this up, the dealer explains to him what a string bet is, but it's kept all friendly, he was a friendly drunk. He then tells his story about how he had to take out the bosses daughters and then came here afterwards. The guy to my left says he busted the friendly drunk earlier in the night, which explained the "He's back for some more" comment. Later I see the friendly drunk raise on a Q84 flop with two hearts. He gets reraised and then calls down with the board showing Q84 Q 2 with 74o. I comment quietly to my right th! at I'm not leaving as long as he had chips in front of him. All four players who heard it nodded. Soon after he busts out. We have about three open seats on the table, and people seem to be slowing down. About 5am, I'm up $100, and start racking my chips. The guy to my left says he's going also. I don't like to play shorthanded as I'm not as comfortable yet with the aggression needed, so I decide to check on my friend. When I cash out, the same cashier is there, he hands me $401. I ask him if he remembers what I had earlier and he doesn't. I tell him I'm up $101 and tip him the $1 anyway.

I find him on the top level playing craps and having a good time. I watch him for a bit and he says he's good to stay around. I'd rather stay up all night than sleep for two hours and want to avoid going back to the room. When I go to the boat, I shouldn't go in on the room, because I don't use it, unless we play poker there. I'll probably continue to pay for it though, just to encourage them to come along. I stick around for a bit to watch the dice and head out once he hits his backing bet. Back to the poker room and I get $200 in chips this time. They have two tables, one full and one with 4 to 5 players. I don't want to play with 5, so I color my chips up to $25s for easier carrying. I wait around and watch college football highlights while waiting to see what would happen. There are a few $1-$3 NL tables around also. My last trip, I busted out my meager live roll with Kings against Aces. &nb! sp;It was after about 5 hours, but I had to bum a ride back from a hotel worker after that, and didn't want to have that happen again. I wait for a spot on the full table and get in on the 7s. I sit on the button on the only open chair. I ask the dealer if I can play after the button. The 9s says 'now wait a minute.' I ask the dealer and she confirms. The 9s sulks a bit, someone says what's the difference, and he keeps up with 'it makes a world of difference' I make note of this, and hope I can use it to push his tilt forward, but I don't get any playable hands. I would have liked to raised my first hand with him in the big blind if it had folded to me while saying 'let me make up for not posting blinds' but the pot was too multi-way at that point.

The 10s is raising constantly. I notice after I limp into a few multiway pots and he raises after me. One situation comes up where there are 5 or so limpers, I call with ATo, he raises, one of the limpers reraises, 2 others call, I call, he caps, and it ends up capped. "Good luck getting anyone out of the pot now," I say to which he responds "That's good!" The flop comes AK8o. It's limped around, I bet, he raises, one early position calls, I call. I think I'm beat, but the pot is big enough to hope on hitting the J for the straight. It doesn't come, and he flips over Aces to drag the pot. "I'm getting all the cards now" Later in the night, he's not raising as much and I realize that he was getting hit with cards, that's why he seemed aggressive.

There is a quiet, non-assertive guy in the 1s. Numerous times, he'd be the third person involved in the pot and someone wouldn't realize he was involved. He gave off a weak image. There was one instance that made me question his poker skills. He and the 10s from before were involved in a hand heads up. I don't remember all the details, but the 1s called him down. The 10s showed an overpair to the board, pocket Kings. The 1s looked at his cards and put them down face down. The 10s and I started talking about something, the dealer starts pushing the pot his way, and then the 1s says wait a second, I have pocket Js and there is a J on the board. The dealer calls over the floor who says that if he threw he cards down and not forward, they weren't mucked. I kept it to myself because the 1s wasn't putting up a fuss. The dealer didn't do a good job of describing the situation, because even though he th! rew the cards down and didn't fling them, the were out past the yellow circle. There were no other cards for them to touch on that side of the table. However the 1s had been getting good cards, like I mentioned earlier, and had a big stack so he said he didn't care and it was done.

Later on, I get in a pot with the 1s. I have pocket 5s and I raise in late position to see if I can take it, since the 'weak' 1s is in the BB. Now that I'm revisiting it, he may be more of a calling station. That is one part of my game I need to work on, tagging other players. It's the reason I don't play shorthanded so much. I should drop down a few levels on line and play 6 max so I can get accustomed to this. Back to the story, the 1s calls my raise and we are heads up. The flop comes with all overs to my pp, something like Q88 with two clubs. I continuation bet and he calls me. The turn is the 5 of clubs, putting three clubs on the board and giving me a boat. I check to see if he wants to bluff at the flush or has hit it. He bets, I raise, he calls. The next card is the four of clubs. I bet, he raises, I reraise quickly and so does he back at me. The dealer says that's a cap, but! then realizes we are heads up and can keep raising which I considered. At this point I should have put more thought into it. I see that if he was playing a trash hand from the BB, he could have hit a straight flush, but that is unlikely. He could have quads, but that didn't enter into my thought process. I was scared that he had QQs and had a higher boat. I thought, that's enough for me, the pot is as big as I want it to get in this situation and I called. He had AJc for the A high flush. Looking back, I should have ruled out the QQs for him because he didn't raise preflop. Not raising the Qs on the flop could be slow playing a flopped full house, but the information from preflop should have told me enough about that. I gave too much credit to him hitting that straight flush, if that was the case, I shouldn't have expected to see it anyway, like quads.

After that hand, he had less than $20 left, so it wasn't like we wou! ld have been there all day raising it up to all-in. I didn't lea ve $200 on the table with him, but at the time, I didn't know that. Those are points I need to work on. I had played down about $40 at that point and that hand brought me back up around even. After that, it was around 6:30am to 7am, and the table started to lose players. We got down around 5 handed and the two guys to my right started getting aggressive. I waited a bit, and then started picking my spots to reraise them. There were enough times where they'd fold to keep me afloat. The two players to my left started complaining about the play and that they didn't get anything to play. I didn't point out that the other guys didn't either, but that didn't stop them. After an hour of that, I was down to just over $100 (even for the trip), and kept looking for an excuse to leave. I had $106 in the cutoff at one point, so I put a live $6 out to get back at the aggressive guy. Two players called, and he reraised. I looked at my cards and saw Q8o. I called. The flop came KQx. He bet, and I reraised. He tossed his cards around in his hand and mucked. I showed him the Q. ! ;He whispered in his neighbors ear. I could tell he didn't like me playing back at him, he wanted to continue to run over the table with trash.

About then is when the table started to fill up again. The rested morning players started to join us all-nighters. An older gentleman came in on the other side of the table, and in late position, I was dealt Aces. The flop came with an Ace. on each street, he'd bet, I'd raise, and he'd call. I think this hand ended up full house over flush also, but that seemed to be the theme for the night.

Anyway, I ended up about $80 on the trip. I think next time when it gets shorthanded, I'll either switch to NL or sit out. We'll see.

My friend had left at 5:30am. I called him and he came back to pick me up. Went to shower, then straight to Hooters for the pregame. A boat takes us from the restaurant in Kentucky to the stadium. It worked out pretty well. Except for the game with the Charger come back and the 4 LT TDs.

For the future of this blog, we'll see if it finds a direction. I'm playing mainly on line right now, with a B&M trip every few months. I started this wanting to keep it just poker, but there isn't enough new territory to find there to keep going. I don't want to make this a personal blog that talks about poker occasionally. We'll see what I have time and interest to do with this.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sponsored Post: ReviewMe

I'm jumping on the ReviewMe bandwagon also. The rest of this post will match what you've seen on multiple blogs elsewhere, so feel free to skip it.

Poker bloggers have reviewed different products in the past in exchange for a free sample. I've done a couple of these myself. ReviewMe is setting themselves up as a go between for those people with the products and us people with the audience to talk about them. In this case, though they say they will pay with cash instead of product. This is my first review. ReviewMe says I'll get paid for it. If I do another one in the future, then you will know that it worked. I haven't seen any reviews on another blog other than this initial one, but I'll keep watching.

The only requirement I see about the reviews is that they are at least 200 words long. There is no requirement that I approve of the product, write a glowing review, or that I even spell correctly.

Doing a search for poker, I am the 28th or so poker blog to jump aboard this. They rank the worth of your blog on a 5 star ranking. Even though I rank 1 star out of 5, it looks like I am paid more than a random 3 star blog, so the system is not so straightforward.

If you are looking for another revenue stream, this may work for you. It looks like we'll see how this does as a community.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Roshambots are Coming!

Normally this blog stays very true to poker related subjects and products. However, there has been a very serious development in the side game of Roshambo that I would be remiss if I didn't relate to you, Wayward Searcher.

Honda is developing a device to read the minds of Roshambo players!

This research reveals that MRI-based neural decoding can allow a robot hand to mimic the subject’s finger movements ("paper-rock-scissors") by tracking the hemodynamic responses in the brain. Although there is an approximate 7-second time lag between the subject’s movement and the robot’s mimicking movement, the researchers succeeded in gaining a decoding accuracy of 85% . . . By utilizing such methods, it is expected that the same result could be achieved with less time lag and more compact BMI system devices.

Start using your tin foil poker hat for playing Roshambo today. Hemodynamic responses are a huge tell. Right now they are 7 seconds behind, but how long until they make up the gap, neurally decoding the brain as the throw is being made? Also, they are looking at 'more compact' systems. If someone wants to Roshambo you for $100, first check to see if they have a huge ass I-pod on their belt. If so, leave immediately. Especially if the headphone jack is plugged into their elbow.

Already, Phil Gordan is training himself to think rock while throwing scissors.

Perhaps HumanHead and the Mrs are early testers of this technology, and it is already in use . . .

The full article is here, without the spin:
ATR and Honda Successfully Develop New Brain-Machine Interface Creating Technology for Manipulating Robots Using Human Brain Activity

Monday, May 15, 2006

How to Protect Your Big Pocket Pairs

First raise preflop. Second get a card protector from For reasons I listed out two posts ago, I ordered a custom card protector from PokerGuard. In the previous post, I added my mock up, but no links to the site. The product was so nice, Wayward Searcher, that I'm going to recommend it and link it up here. I sent them the order on 5/1 and finished the images on the 8th. My order went into production on the 9th, and I received it on the 12th! They made it and it shipped faster than I could put the images together. I only did the minimum shipping freight for the US Postal Service also. It came in under $51.

They have many designs to choose from, which you can add a custom message to the back. There are standard round protectors with intricate images on them, as well as card shaped caps. I went with the double custom, and sent them images for the front and the back. I sent a mock up showing how they should be positioned, and they did a fine job of laying them out. There were two images on the front - the A shield and the word Meek. On the back, it had three images. A ring of text saying Meek's Poker Bank Roll, an outline of Ohio, and my signature. The sig and the outline were superimposed. It didn't seem to be a problem for them. They requested the images be bigger than 100kb to ensure a quality machining.

They added a couple more nice touches. The card cap comes with a felt pouch. The card protector is itself protected by a usable and unobtrusive acrylic case. So what is supposed to protect the acrylic case? I'm checking if I can add a viper card alarm that says "Please step away from the cards" in an authoritative voice. I hear it is a good option to have if you play in Detroit.

My trip to Iggy's office is coming up in three weeks. That will be the first live experience for this Troy Ounce of silver from PokerGuard.

PokerStars is doing the 5 billionth hand promotion. Every 5 million hands from here on (4.930b, 4.935b, etc), they give away $5k to the winner of the hand, and $2k to everyone dealt in on it. I'm stalking the hand count, and opening as many low limit tables as I can when it gets close. I figure each table gets about a hand every 7000 hands. One table would give you 1/7000 odds. two, 1/3500, and so on. Not so bad for a shot at $5k. It would be better to have a table that folded around on every hand right up to it. Just burn through them.

I think I've got a problem with this card protector now. I like this thing too much. I'm carrying it around in my pocket, but not showing it to anyone. I pull it out every once in a while to catch a peek. The next step is to start calling it 'my precious'