Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tips for playing in a live casino

I have a ton of work to get done before I go to Vegas tomorrow (whee!), and I still have to finish Part III and IV of last weekend's trip report (good thing not much of note happened this weekend or I'd be really behind), but I'd figured I'd write up my list o' things online players should know before playing for the first time live so as to not look too goofy. How's that for a run-on sentence?

Heather's tips for online players sitting down at an online table or, how to not make Heather say, "You play online a lot, don't you?":

  1. Verbalize your action - Unless you're folding, be on the safe side and say "raise" or "call" before you do anything with your chips, as a verbal declaration is binding. If you're playing no-limit and you know how much you're going to raise, say the amount you're raising to: "raise to 50". This way you won't ever get called for a string bet and have to take back some of the money you intended on betting. In general, it's easier to just state the final total ("straight up" or "all day" are often how you'll hear it referred to in the casino) than to state the amount you're raising. But, if you're going to do that anyway, just say 'more' - "Raise, 100 more.", otherwise the dealer will probably assume you meant the number as a total.

  2. If someone has verbalized in front of you, keep the action moving and don't wait for the chips to be put in the pot - Since verbal declarations are binding, you can keep the game moving by continuing the action. Call, raise, or fold if you're going to do so. Obviously, if you're playing NL and you're looking to pick up a tell by the way they put their chips in, you want to wait before moving, but if this is your first live game, it takes practice to pick up tells. I'm not even that good at it yet!

  3. When raising, don't put the call and the raise in different groups - This just isn't done in live play, and is the biggest tell that someone plays mostly online and very little live play. Put all your chips into the pot in one group, state the total (see above) and let the action move along.

  4. When counting chips to put in the pot, make them of reasonable sizes - This applies much more to NL than limit, but just for reference: stacks of two chips is not a reasonable size, especially when you're putting in a $50 bet. Very little annoys me more than to watch someone count out 5 piles of $10 and push them into the pot. A reasonable size is 1/2 the bet or stacks of $20 or $25 - whatever divides evenly (2 stacks of $15 fora $30 bet, 3 stacks of $20 for a $60 bet, 4 stacks of $20 for an $80 bet (or 3 stacks of $25 and a lone $5, whichever), or even 3 stacks of $15 for a $45 bet). Just for the love of all that is good, don't put in a gazillion little rows of two chips!

  5. Tip the dealer! This is something you don't need to do online, but dealers make minimum wage, in general, and they make most of their livelyhood off the tips the players provide. The dealers are providing you with a customer service, so tip them accordingly. Also, don't be afraid to tell the dealer this is the first time you've played live, as that gives them a heads up to poke you a little when the action is on you.

I'm sure I had more notes, but I left my little notebook at church on Sunday (seriously, and that's not a euphemism), so I'm working from memory here

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Weekend o' poker, part I - Friday continued

When we left, I had doubled my buy-in at the little table, and the $400 min / $1000 max table had just opened up. Glenn and I moved over, and the table started a bit short handed (7 people), which was fine by me, because the lineup was such that everyone was going to be giving Glenn and I their money. In fact, within the first 10 minutes, Glenn doubled up his buyin when he hit trips. In fact this game was so soft, and the CMG was a weird enough lineup that Mark decided to come in and play, and he hates max buy in games.

We had one maniac at our table who truly had a horseshoe up the horseshoe up his tush. He'd raise with any ace suited, any A9 or better (suited or not), and in general, overvaluing his hands. So, reasonably early in the game, when I knew he was a maniac, but not quite sure if he was a HORRIBLE maniac or not, this hand came up:

I'm UTG with QQ, and I raise the $10 blind to $60. Everyone folds to the maniac, who calls, and then it's folded back around to me. As the maniac calls, I say, "You're calling? You know I have a hand!" to which he responds, "I give you respect! You need to give me respect!" Fine.

I'm thrilled to see the flop come down: T♥ 5♠ 2♣

I bet out $125, and Maniac calls. WTF, does he have a ten?

Turn is another T, this time in spades. I bet out $275, he raises me all in. Hello, pressure point. I count my chips down and I have $780 behind. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I look over to him and ask one of my favorite questions, "Will you show me your cards if I fold?" He laughs a little and says, "Maybe, If I in good mood [sic]". Ok, it's possible that he doesn't have a ten.

I smile again and turn up Paris and Nicky, and state, "These aren't any good?" And he starts smirking and shifting in his seat. [For those of you who only play online poker, it is perfectly legal in a B&M casino to show your cards without it being a fold once you are heads-up. Don't do it with other players live in the pot or you're going to get in trouble.] At this point my instincts are screaming that I should call him down, but it's $780 more! He tells me, "I show you my cards if you fold," and laughs and says again, "I show you my cards if you don't fold too!"

Dammit, dammit dammit, I talk myself out of calling and fold. He says, "Good fold, good fold."

To the reader: What would you have done?

He then proceeds to start giving the cards to the dealer without showing them to me, and I throw a little snit. I say, "Hey, dude, you said you were going to show me your cards, don't be a jerk and go back on your word."

And then proceeds to turn over the A♠ 4♠. Yes, he called $125 on the flop with a gutshot wheel draw and an overcard. And then raised me $780 more when he picked up 8 more outs (it would have been nine, but the Q♠ gives me a boat)!

I'm pretty sure I should have called this hand - first off, my instincts were saying I was good, especially when he saw my hand and got ants in his pants. Also, when I think about it, if the Maniac had top pair on the flop, he would have raised the crap out of my flop bet, and I should have never put him on the T. So he had 8 (spades) + 3 (aces) + 3 (treys for the straight minus the 3♠) = 14 outs with one card to go and 38 cards left in the deck, meaning I was a 2.7:1 favorite to win. The only time I should have folded was if I really thought he had a T, because then I only have 2 outs left in the deck, anything else I'm pretty good.

I asked Mark if he would have called and he said, "Did I tell you that I never like to put all my chips in the pot with just one pair?"

My anguished reply: "But I had TWO!" He laughed and said he didn't know what to tell me.

So, at this point it's pretty clear that he is a Very Bad Maniac. Which is Very Good for us at the table. Or it should have been. Poor Mark got caught by his horseshoes:

4 players limp in to see the flop, pot is $45 (the SB folded, as did I). Flop comes down:

K♥ T♥ 3♥

Maniac bets $75. Mark says what everyone's thinking: "You bet $75 into a $45 flop?" He smiles and nods and Mark says, "Hmm, well, ok, I call." The other two limpers get out of the way. Pot is now $195.

Turn: 9♣ Maniac bets $200. Mark thinks, and at this point I've got Mark on a pretty decent hand - a flush, and most likely the nut. Maniac perks up and says, "Go ahead, raise me all in!" Mark replies, "Oh, I wouldn't want to do anything stupid - I'll just call."

River: 3♦ to pair the board. Maniac bets $500. Mark groans and said, "Did that just hit you and fill you up?" Maniac chatters, says it's $500 to find out, etc. There's no way Mark (or I, for that matter) can put the Maniac on KK or TT because there's no WAY he would have limped preflop with that because remember, he's not a good maniac, he's an overplaying maniac, so Mark has to make the call.

Maniac turns over 9♥ 3♠. Yes, that'd be a runner runner full house with 93o. Mark, of course, had the nut flush and played the maniac beautifully until lady luck spiked that river card on him. Live poker is RIGGED, I tell you, RIGGED!

To make matters worse, Mark flops a straight against the maniac and another guy, maniac bets out, the other guy raises, mark raises all in, maniac folds. Other guy can't let go of his two pair for $500, and calls, and of course turns his full house.

The maniac then proceeds to get not one but two more runner runner full houses, and leaves the table with $7000. At least by his last down, he'd started to loosen up, and I'd started to get pissed and was reraising him and not being intimidated and ended the night up $700. Adam (who stopped by earlier with his girlfriend to come play) managed to make $400 at the baby table, and I decided to pack it in about 3 am, and we went to find Nikki.

Turns out Nikki showed us all with her $2400 jackpot playing the dollar slots. Dayymn, I was definitely playing the wrong game!

... to be continued - I play much better when I can't do math, which bodes well for Vegas ...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Random quick update

Lost at HOE last night, but I was pretty much just giving away my money, and I should know better.

I have GOT to learn how to play O/8. felicialee1Felicia, any hints tips or suggestions you want to give would be much appreciated - I have a hard time figuring out what is a GOOD hand in O, O/8 or Stud Hi. I know what's good in Stud/8 but that's because you're going for scooping the pot.

It ALSO looks like that instead of coming home on Sunday and having a nice relaxing day at home recovering before going back to work, that I'm going to have to figure out how to change my travel plans to go from Vegas to PHX for a week for business ( and then go home. Not exactly what I was looking forward to doing. I might get to visit my dad and stepmom though, provided that they're back from Alaska by then, otherwise I should look into the casinos in the area. I played at Casino Arizona last time I was down there, which wasn't bad, but maybe I need to find out how far Ft McDowell is from where I'm staying.

And also, booo, because there are no Caribou Coffees in Arizona.

Part II of the weekend adventures coming maybe later today if I get some work done.

But, while you're waiting, check out Dr. Pauly's freeroll tonight. Free money for playing poker! How can you resist?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Weekend o' poker, part I - Friday

Alright, since my computer is acting up and doesn't want to let me get to my email, I suppose that means I can post the first part of this crazy poker weekend.

I wasn't planning on going to the boats on Friday, because I needed to be at a vestry retreat at 9 am on Saturday, and playing poker on Friday night means not getting home until at least 3am on an early night, and is usually more like 4 or 4:30 am. But, around 7 pm, I decided to be irresponsible and gave in to the desire to play poker anyway. I gave my friends Adam a call and let him know I was going and if he wanted to play, I'd stake him into the game. He said he wasn't sure what the plans were, but he'd call me on my cell and let me know.

I get to the boats around 8:30, and am pretty surprised to see Mark there, as he'd mentioned last weekend that he wouldn't be here this weekend and then next weekend he hoped to be in Vegas, and the weekend after that I was going to be in Vegas. He was sitting in the CMG when I wandered over and teased him about being there and didn't he have a lot of work to do? He said he absolutely did, but he was being irresponsible (not to repeat myself but that was the phrase he used) and playing poker instead. I sweated him for a bit, but looked down at his stack and he was unusually for him, short stacked. Noticing my look, he said he wasnted to try playing on a small stack and see if he could manage, and he was pissing the guys he ususally plays with off because he'd changed up his style.

At this point, my name gets called for a new must-move baby NL game, so I grab some chips and sit down. I'm first on the move list, so there's no point in trying to build any table image, and besides that, I'm waiting for the $400 min / $1k max game to start up anyway. I make about $40 in the 15-20 min that I'm sitting at the table and then get moved to a main game with one of the $400 min regulars. About 2 hands after I sit down, I get JJ UTG+1, UTG folds, I raise to $25 (BB = $5 in this game), and I get 3 callers, including the SB. Fan-fing-tastic, because JJ does not look so great against 3 other people.

The flop comes down T♥ 7♥ 5♥ Great, this is good on one side because I've got an overpair, but bad because, well, hello, flush on board. I do have the J♥ though, so I can bet to see where I am.

I bet $75, everyone folds to the SB, who says he's all in. At this point, I only have $130 behind, so it's $130 to win $385. He's the SB, so if he's got a flush, I don't think it's bigger than my J or he wouldn't have pushed it this hard, and at some point I need to double up my stack in order to play this game. I call.

Turn is a 3♣ River is a 5♦ I flip over my JJ, and he flips over his T7o and says "two pair!" and taps his cards to indicate to the dealer to ship him the pot. The dealer says, "Two pair, jacks and fives," at the same I'm telling the SB, "Yes, me too." Ship it!

His next comment to me was something on the order of a sarcastic "ooooh nice call on the flop there." Instead of saying something like "yeah, nice call of the pre-flop raise there." I merely say something about having the flush draw as well as I'm stacking his chips.

I then proceed to bleed off $100 in cards that start off well but the flops absolutely miss me, but when my seat is called for the new $400 / $1000 game about 20 minutes later, I've still managed to leave with a double up of my buyin.

... to be continued ...

Perhaps I set my sights a little too low...

... as I already made my yearly poker winning goal as of this weekend. I'm a little stunned. Needless to say, the trip to Vegas is now paid for.

I also have a slew of stories to tell, as well including:
  • Proof that live poker is RIGGED (or, even bad players can have horseshoes stuck up their horseshoes)

  • Folding the hilton sisters to a stupid maniac on a ten high board (although in my defense I didn't know he was stupid at the time)

  • Having all the people on the "executive board" find out that I play poker and them being inordinately impressed by it

  • Finding out that I play much better on 3 hours of sleep and with diminshed math skills

  • Being told that I am someone's hero, and she really meant it

  • Causing some guy to go outside and talk to himself after he lost a hand to me

  • Finding out that my large chip stack was all because I was "getting good hands", because, you know - the cards always PLAY THEMSELVES.

  • More proof that live poker is RIGGED (or, yes, Virginia, bad players exist in live poker too and call down their gutshot backdoor flush draws)

I think this is going to be a multi-part series, but I'm not sure when I'm going to get the first installment out, as I have actual WORK to do, and (hopefully) the HOE game to play in tonight, so I'll just have to leave you with the above as a teaser for now.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The loosest 10/20 game ever

[A conversation with Pauly about collusion and being accused of cheating brings this session to mind...]

About 6 or 7 months ago, when I was still quite awful at cash NL games [I know, suprising but true, I was an ATM machine at those games for a couple months until something clicked], I was having [my usual, at this point] bad day at the baby NL game and Jason, one of the regular younger 10/20 players that I get along with suggested that I come play at this insane 10/20 game that was going on. There was a guy in town from Texas with his brother and his friend and they were getting drunk and raising and reraising almost every pot and putting the rest of the table on tilt. Sounded good to me, so I moved over.

I sat down, and sure enough this guy, Nick, was drinking like there was no tomorrow, as was his buddy, and both he and his brother had a huge stack of red chips in front of them. And sure enough, they were reraising and raising every pot like crazy maniacs. However, what everyone at the table except Jason, this guy David (who we called Argyle, due to his nappy sweater vest), and me didn't notice was that if Nick and brother didn't notice was that if they didn't hit the flop, or a monster draw, they were out of there after the flop. Most of the time, when Nick went to the river, he was showing top 10 hands, unless he'd hit some crazy 2 pair or whatnot on the flop, and got paid off with raises and reraises on every street all the way to the river.

So while Nick and brother were driving people crazy and causing them to bust out right and left, Jason, David and I were just taking advantage of their loosening up the table and we, too, eventually had stacks of red chips in front of us. Me, being me, I also immediately made friends with Nick and we were bantering back and forth all night - All night! The 10/20 games normally break up around 3 or 4 am on a Saturday night, and we were never less than 8 handed because of all the "easy money" that was thought to be had from Nick. So not only was I making my losses back at this game, I was laughing my butt off as well.

It got to the point where when I was ready to enter the pot, I had to look at my hand and go 'Is this a $20 hand, because I know if I come in, Nick's going to raise this.' And all night, I'd come into the pot and say, "OK, I've got a $20 hand, Nick!" and sure enough, he'd raise and I'd call. This had been going on all night and we were the loudest table in the room (also unusual for a 10/20 table), so the floor was constantly dropping by the table and checking us out.

Funniest point of the evening: Schuyler (pronounced Skyler), the floor guy was hanging out, and Nick says to me, "Oh boy, we're going to get kicked out now..." And I say to Schuyler, "Hey, Schuyler - are we getting in trouble?"

Schuyler replies, deadpan, "No, as far as I know, we still allow you to have FUN in the casino."

Anyway, eventually at 7 or 8 in the morning, this gawdawful $5/$10 player wearing a bright red I hat, decides to take an open seat and sit down short stacked, commenting to Nick that he's here just to take Nick's money. Nick tells him, "Bring it on, Big Red, I have this whole rack of greens to give away!" E immediately gets indignant, and says, "Why are you calling me Big Red?" We don't point out to him, as he's already drunk, that he's wearing a red hat.

In about 45 minutes, we've busted his stack and he says as he leaves, "Y'all just stay there! I've got $1000 in my room and I'm going to get it and be right back!". We're overjoyed with this.

He comes back an hour later or so, still drunk, with $500 instead of $1000, but hey, that's $500 more we can get. It's about 10 am on Sunday, and we're still at it with Nick telling me if I come in he's going to just raise me, and I say fine, I've got a $20 hand, etc.

At this point, I've moved down to sit to the right of Nick, and my poor luck is that E is now sitting to my right, and he's talking my ear off, and I just don't LIKE him, and his money is coming to me anyway, so there's no point in me being any level above polite to him, so I don't, and he gets a little more annoyed.

So, they sit there playing and little e, as we're now calling him, has gotten Nick to drink shots of tequila, and they're both seriously drunk, though Nick holds his drunk much better. The raising and the reraising is still going on, but little e has gotten a little more belligerent, and I notice Michael the floor guy has decided to take a post right behind me to watch little e and Nick and the whole table. Nick starts making some smart-ass comment to Michael and both Jason and I are very quick to say, "Shhhhh. You can tease and rib any other floor guy, but not Michael - you will get yourself kicked out." So, I wasn't too displeased to see him keeping an eye on little e, as I'm actually starting to get rather uncomfortable with his level of drunken belligerence.

I was right to be worried. I'm sitting on the button with a $20 hand, and little e comes in for $10. I jokingly say to Nick, "You're so going to raise me if I come in, right?" and he says, "Don't I always?" and I laugh and put $10 in, and sure enough he raises, just like he has been doing all night.

At this point, little e absolutely flips out and says, "That is TOTALLY UNETHICAL to talk about your hands!! I can't believe you're disrespecting the game like that!" To say that I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. He continues, "I mean, I only lost $6 [wrong game, son], and I'm not mad about that, I'm just so mad that you're being unethical!"

Is he kidding me? Has he not been paying attention one whit all night? Is he really that drunk? I mean, sure, we've taken another $350 from him and he's on another short stack, but is he serious??

Yes, yes he is. Over the course of the next 45 minutes he not only goes up to talk to Michael, the floor guy, who saw and heard EVERYTHING, he goes up to Schuyler, and then talks to the poker room manger, who already got the low down from Michael, and gets soothed and set straight. But that's not enough, he has to bring it up every 5 minutes, and even after talking to the poker room manger, has to go up to every other floor guy that hasn't heard the story yet.

I just can't take it. The floor people won't do anything about his yammering, and I'm getting asked by a couple friends to join the tournament that's going to start in 40 minutes or so, which at this point sounds much more palatable than even taking a drunk guy's money. I just can't take his yammering anymore, so I get up, get a comp for the deli from the floor, and go eat lunch for a half hour. Yeesh. Not exactly the kind of way you expect to end a 20 hour poker bender, eh?

[of course, I didn't end it there, I played in the tournament, since I not only made my NL losses back, but made a pretty big killing at the 10/20 game, and was getting offered a pretty good save odd from a friend of mine who ended up placing 1st in the tourney, so it wasn't all bad. Plus, little e ended up busting out about an hour later, which warmed the cockles of my heart]

Monday, May 16, 2005

I hate tournaments

And yes, I've read Harrington's book, and I plan on reading it a second time. And no, this isn't a case of sour grapes, although if I was winning tournaments with regularity, I'd probably like them a bit more, I admit.

But all that aside, I still hate tournaments. While skill is a huge factor in these, there's just so much more luck involved. Someone calls your AK for a large raise with AQ and they either take you out, or they make enough of a dent in your chipstack that you can't recover. All your mistakes are magnified as well - I donked off some chips on a stupid turn bluff and was crippled as well; in a cash game you can do that and still be able to recover - the ability to reach into your pocket allows you to even make money off your mistakes.

I played two tourneys this weekend, in the first, I was by far in the top tier of players - there were only two out there as good or as better as I am, and of course I run into someone who falls in love with his AQ and I'm out in 11th place. And I'm mad, because this guy is a poor player, he's been that way all night, and I would be able to take much more advantage of that if we were playing a ring game. In fact, my friend Adam (who also got kicked out) said to me as I was venting, "It's early, you should just go to the casino and make your money back in a ring game."

Which, of course, I did, and I brought Adam and I took home 10x the buyin for the tournament, so I made my money back and then some.

Then I played in the WPBT satellite last night, and again, got AhKd to a Ad 4d 4c flop, and bet pot (after a decent preflop raise of 4x the blinds), and got one caller. The turn, Jd. I've got the nut flush redraw and the guy is definitely not on a 4 as he hesitated enough after the call to make that clear. I bet pot again, which is most of my stack, he goes all in for $100, and I have to call.

Of course, he has AJo and I don't get any help, and am crippled with $70. I manage to hang on for a while, but eventually get knocked out with KJo on the button (I limped in, hit top pair on a J T 8 flop), got bet into, raised pot, got a hesitating call, pushed in on the turn since I knew I was good, and got called by T9o and the river was of course a 9 and IGHN.

Yes, I could have bet all in on the turn which probably would have won me the pot, but I hated my K.

Give me a cash game any day. I never have to play a short stack in a ring game, and there's so much less luck involved IMO, and even if you make a mistake, you can use that to your advantage later in the game - your opponents will remember your mistakes and you can use that to get paid off.

But maybe I'm just full of sour grapes. Or maybe I'm just cranky because I woke up at 5 am and couldn't go back to sleep and it took me 2 hours to get out the door this morning because my head is not fully screwed on until 7 am.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Yes, Virginia, Girls can have penis envy too.

If the qualifications of being a degenerate gambler means that you spend enough time in the card room for you to know all the dealers names, for them to say hi to you specifically when you sit down at the table and worry when they haven't seen you for a weekend, for the floor to sign you up for your games when you call in and only say your name, to have your rating card filled out for you without having to turn in your card, and for on of the floor managers to have your email and cell number and worry when he hasn't heard from you for a week either, then I definitely qualify.

Since things have gotten busier with the summer here and all, I've missed a casino trip on an occasional weekend, and mostly only been able to play on Fridays instead of both Fri and Sat. So imagine my surprise when I skip a weekend and all the dealers come back and say "we haven't seen you in forever!" Dude, I missed ONE WEEKEND. I'm going to be missing this weekend too, as I'm going out to the movies with the girls tonight, and then playing in a friend's home tournament (where I will be $100 of dead money probably, as I've been doing poorly at tournaments lately, but that's another story). I can't imagine what I'll run into when I get back next weekend. Although, if the fates align, I shall be meeting a Donkeypuncher.

One of the reasons I go consistently to Trump, and why the dealers know me is because I am one of the better women players there. I'm the only woman who plays consistently in the bigger stakes NL games (no woman plays in the CMG, because we're sane), and I like to think that I'm the best woman player there.

Okay, there's no "like to" in that feeling at all. I AM the best woman player there. Yet, I think that more women playing poker is a good thing, in general - I encourage all of my girl friends that are decent to take a shot at playing in the casino, because I also believe that women have a HUGE advantage playing poker against men. Seriously - how many men are given back their $150 river bet by a guy holding the nuts? I've been given my river bets back TWICE playing NL. That's all money in my pockets, boys, and trust me, I'm not giving you any breaks, either.

So I was very curious to notice my reaction while I was playing on Saturday (against all guys) to this lady playing in the baby game. She had built up her stack to $1000 from the $200 max or less, and obviously was decent at the game - I wasn't playing her and had my back to her so I couldn't observe much - and I hated it. It made me cranky! I get this feeling in tournaments, too - if I'm doing well and I'm not the last woman standing, I get annoyed.

It never makes me cranky when guys have more money than I am, or if they're a better player than I am, but it irks me to no end when a woman has more money than I do, or plays as well or better than I do. I find this bizarre, and go find my buddy Ray who's shown up and is playing the $10/$20 game. I ask him if I can get a guy take on a question I have and say,

"So, do guys hate it when there are other guys with more chips than them at the tables?"

Ray replies, "Oh, totally, it's called penis envy."

I say, "So if it really really irks me because that chick over there has a ton of money and is doing well at the baby game even though I'm not playing it, but it IS MY GAME, that's pretty similar?"

Ray laughs and says, "OH MY GOD YOU HAVE PENIS ENVY!"

I make a face at him and come back with, "Oh yeah? Well FINE! I bet Annie Duke has it too!"

Yes, it's true, girls can have penis envy, too.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

My mother is even so impressed with the fact that I play poker, she sends me poker humor

This was amusing enough to share (can you tell I'm in the office and don't want to work?)


Queen Elizabeth and Dolly Parton die on the same day, and they both go before the angel to find out if they'll be admitted to heaven.

Unfortunately, there's only one space left that day, so the angel must decide which of them gets in.

The angel asks Dolly if there's a particular reason why she should go to heaven, whereupon she takes off her top and says, "Look at these, they're the most perfect breasts God ever created, and I'm sure it will please God to be able to see them every day, for eternity."

The angel thanks Dolly, and asks Her Majesty the same question.

The Queen takes a bottle of Perrier out of her purse, shakes it up, and gargles. Then, She spits into the toilet, and pulls the lever.

The angel says, "OK, your Majesty, you may go in."

Dolly is outraged and asks, "What was that all about? I show you two of God's own perfect creations, and you turn me down. She simply gargles and she gets in. Would you explain that to me?"

"Sorry, Dolly," says the angel, "but even in heaven, a royal flush beats a pair, no matter how big they are."

Them's QUADS, Bitches!

I played in my second HOSE (Hold'em, Omaha, 7 card Stud, 7 card stud hi/lo Eight or better to qualify) dealer choice homegame last night; I meant to write up the first one, but I'm lazy, so too bad. I absolutely adore this game, because the guys who play it are just overall great guys, and there's a ton of action. Plus it allows me to practice stud and omaha for pretty cheap.

Actually, it's really better called a HOE game, because no one ever chooses Stud Hi (or Omaha-Hi either), as there's just not enough action with that. See why I love this game?

Tonight's theme was quads - we had at least 5 quads come up (and I folded TWO of them preflop - but you just can't play J6o to a raise even from the BB. Of course the flop came down 6 6 K and the 3rd 6 turned). One of the more amusing portions of the evening was when Mike and Andrew were playing in a pot, Mike was in the CO and came in for a raise, and Andrew, knowing that Mike raises a lot, defended his blind. The flop came down:

K♦ 4♦ 8♣

Andrew bets, Mike unsurprisingly raises (he does this a lot - while he's not a LAG, he's definitely an AG), Andrew calls.

Turn is 4♣

Andrew bets, Mike raises, Andrew re-raises, Mike caps, Andrew calls.

River is a Q♦ to make the flush

Andrew bets, Mike raises, Andrew re-raises, Mike caps, Andrew calls.

As Mike's turning over his pocket 44, he says, "Them's QUADS, bitch!" The table lets out an oooooh, and Andrew mucks his nut flush. I'm slightly shocked, and say to Ray, "Wow, you are right, he is evil when he's playing poker!" Ray informs me this phrase was coined at one of the Thursday games (which are even looser and more actiony than this and I'm not allowed to play in because I'm too good) so while Mike is evil at a poker table, this shouldn't dim my nice guy image of Mike.

So, we start playing Stud/8 - which is pretty much my new favorite game, thanks to reading the chapter in Super System 2. I start with

4h 4s / As and the bringin is a dollar, which I call, someone completes (someone is always completing at this game) and decide that I have enough odds to see 4th street.

4th street is another 4, so I have 4 4 / A 4, which is absolutely beautiful because now I have trips disguised as a low hand, and Kevin and Tim are both showing high face cards so are going to assume I'm going low (which I am, but I'm going for a scoop of the pot now). It's bet to me, I raise, Kevin reraises, Tim caps, I call, Kevin calls.

5th street is an 8: 4 4 / A 4 8. Again, what a great card - I can probably scoop the pot here if I get another low. It's bet to me again, I raise again, Kevin reraises, Tim just calls, I cap, Kevin calls, Tim calls.

6th street: 4, giving me 4 4 / A 4 8 4. CHACHING! Tim bets, I raise, Kevin just calls, Tim calls. I'm guessing they finally got a little scared of the possible full house.

7th street: a big brick J, but I'm not too worried because it's going to be pretty hard for Kevin and Tim to make a low with all the high cards they have showing. Tim checks to me, I bet, Kevin calls, Tim thinks and thinks and finally calls, and I turn over my hole cards and say,

"Them's QUADS, bizzzzzzzzzitches!" Being a girl, I have to say it all feminine and stuff, you know And I happily hog the pot.

Did I mention I love this HOE game? Of course, then they all get revenge on me by calling O/Low for three rounds in a row and I bleed off $100, but I still ended up tripling my buy in thanks to a rush in Holdem.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Weekend update

Pretty decent weekend, even if I did have the worst run of cards that I can imagine in 5 hands, and I don't think there was anything I could do about it.

I went to play on Friday, and found they've finally solved the whole stakes confrontation. They now have the $50 min / $200 max baby game, a $1500 minimum ($10/$25 or $25/$50 blinds depending on who starts the game) no max crazy monkey game, and they've started a third game - $400 min / $1000 max, $5 / $10 blind game. This is fantastic news, as this was the game I used to play, except with a $1k cap now. You might think this is a bad thing, but it actually promotes more action because people don't risk their entire bankroll.

I crushed the game on Friday - walked out with over triple my (max) buyin, and played pretty well, and got lucky a couple times. Also, someone who I hadn't seen since December or January made an appearance and sat down at my game. I like Andy, and he's a good player and I always learn a couple things when I sit next to him.

One hand of note from Friday, illustrating a lesson I learned from Andy:

I'm 2 off the button, and there are 2 limpers in the hand before me (Andy's one of them). I've got pocket 8's, so I limp in as well. The guy on the button, who's on the short stack ($250 or so, compared to my $2k) makes it $50 to go. The blinds fold, and it gets to Andy who bought in for half the max (the trip to the casino was spur of the moment, and the ATM only gives you so much cash), so is a bit handicapped. He thinks for a bit, and then folds. I call, hoping to hit my 8 on the flop.

The flop comes down Q J 4 rainbow. I check, the button bets $50 again, and this confuses me, because he didn't progress (raise the value of) his bet - he bet like he had to bet because he raised. So I wrinkle my nose and call. The turn is a 7, and I check again. Bettor bets $75. Again, this just feels all weird to me - he progressed because he had to, not because he had a hand. So I call again, and the river comes down a 3.

I check, and the button goes all in for $160. Arrrrrgh, why didn't I bet or raise any of the streets? I look over and I ask him, "What do you have? I can't see you raising $50 preflop on Ace Jack or Ace Queen..." He replies, "It's $160 to find out." I sigh and I keep thinking about the hand and how it played and it just all seems like AK to me but still, I'm not sure about calling until he says the fateful words to the dealer: "Put her on time."

That made my decision right there. See, I don't know how well known of a fact it is, but generally when a player is put on time, they're much more likely to fold than to call, and a player putting someone on time probably wants their opponent to fold as well, otherwise it's rather bad ettiquite to do so.

I waited a couple seconds, and then said, "Fine, I call." I usually flip my hand over at this point, but wanted to see what the heck he had. Turns out it was AK of hearts. I flip over my 88, and the whole table goes "wow, good call." Andy leans over to me and says "That's the exact same hand I had! Good call!"

"Yeah, but I think I played that hand all wrong. I shouldn't have had to MAKE that decision - I should have been putting the pressure on him to make the decisions," I said.

Andy told me that with my stack being so large, and his being so small, I should have put him all in preflop and put that decision back on him, in fact, he was thinking of going all in and asked if I would have called. I said that I most certainly not have - there aren't very many hands in late position that I limp in with that I could call an all in on.

I used that information the next night (Saturday) in almost the exact same situation; I limped, an over-player made it $50, he had $250 in his stack, I had $1100, so I said "I put you all in" with my 99, and they held up.

I should have followed my first instincts on Saturday, though - I was playing and someone tapped me on the shoulder and when I looked around I couldn't find hide nor hair of said person, and so started looking around and saw a side profile that I recognized - it was my absolute favorite dealer who had moved up to work at Potowatamee in WI come back to visit Trump. He was playing $10/$20 limit, and there was a seat open and he said "Come sit down and play here, I'll even buy you a beer!"

Someone please tell me why I passed that up? My game sucked that night, I wasn't doing well in the game, and I would have loved to hang out with M for the evening and catch up. My only excuse is my leaving would have made the game short handed, and there were regulars that were at the table that would have BITCHED AND MOANED to no end if I left them short handed and I didn't want to hear it.

I'm such a girl, and I need to fix that, because karma came back to bite me in the butt - I lost ALL my money in about 20 minutes on a series of hands I played correctly, but just ended up losing. Well, I think I played them correctly, you be the judge.

First hand, I am in the BB with Q♦ 4♣. It gets to me and everyone but one person limps in for $10, so there's $90 in the pot. I just check, and the flop comes down:

Q♥ Q♠ 5♥

I don't even bother slowplaing my trips here with the flush on board, so I bet $75. I get called by the major fish at the table, who has been calling almost everything down to the river and then folding to a river bet. I put this guy on a 5 or an underpair. Maybe he has the queen, which means I have kicker issues, but I don't think so.

Turn: 5♣. I now have the Big boat, I bet $150, the guy calls.

I don't even remember what the river card was, it was a brick. I put him all in for $340 more, and he can't get his chips in fast enough. I show my Q, and he shows ...

... well I was right about the 5. I just didn't expect that he had TWO OF THEM for QUADS for the second quad fives he's had that night. Seriously.

Damn. But anyone with that hand is going to lose that money, I really don't think I could have played it any better, especially after the 5 comes on the turn.

I fold my small, and my button is an inconsequential hand.

In the cutoff, I get T♦9♦. Everyone folds to me, so I make it 3 times the big to go. The button calls as does the small, but the big folds.

The flop comes down

Q♥ 8♦ 6♣

This is a GREAT flop for me, considering - I've got a double gutshot, and I can't really imagine that it hit anyone else. The J or the 7 gives me a straight, and it's a sneaky one that no one's going to see. I bet $75 into the $90 pot. The button calls, the SB folds.

The turn is a 9♥. Not exactly the card I want to see, but I get a pair, and so I bet $125 into the now $240 pot. The button goes all in, and I pretty much cry and fold because it's another $350 to make a call and I don't have that good of odds. He said he hit a set on the flop and wanted the flush draw out. Dammit.

This is the only hand I could have played differently - checked the turn to maybe see a river, or saved $125 when he makes a big bet.

The very next hand, I get A♦K♦

UTG+1 makes it $30. He's been making it $30 on a lot of hands, from small pairs to AJ. I toss a black chip in there and say "Raise to $100". He replies, "Well, I guess I'll have to make a set" and calls.

The flop comes down 4♣ 9♦ 7♦ and the little pocket pair checks to me.

If the diamonds aren't out there, I maybe play this differently? Anyway, I assume he doesn't hit, and I've got the redraw, so I semibluff with $200 into the $230 pot.

He says "I put you all in." Sigh. I have $130 left at this point, which means i'm getting ($230 + $200 + $330) / $130 odds to call or 5.8 to 1 to call. I'm 2 to one to get my flush draw by the river, according to Harrington. I call, and flip over my big slick.

He flips over pocket sevens for a set (WHO CALLS $70 with 77????).

The turn? 9♣ - to give him an unbeatable sevens full.

The river? 4♦ - to add insult to injury, I make my flush and IGHN.

At least I was up over a buyin for the weekend.

But next time, if someone offers to buy me alcohol to change games? I'm so there, especially if the game I'm in is BORING.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Poker update

I've mostly been spending time trying to clear bonuses on Full Tilt and Ultimate Bet, since I've cleared the party poker bonus. Is it just me, or is the Full Tilt bonus one of the slowest ones to get through?

In other news, I've decided to give up online No-Limit games, because I can't seem to consistently win, and when I do, it's fold fold fold fold play one hand, get sucked out on, fold fold fold, win a little pot, fold fold fold. I can't remember who said it, but I'm much more suited to the little swings at limit games online than the one or two big decision NL games. So I'm back to $2/$4 and $3/$6 online and am consistenly making money in addition to the bonuses, and this makes me happy.

I'm still playing NL in live games, though - like BadBlood, I feel as though I'm a much better live player than online; there's just something that I pick up on in addition to the betting patterns that makes me more of a winning player. Also, I think my 'I'm a sweet, kind, funny girl' attitude works much better live than online as well. Did I mention I love being a girl?

I went to Trump on Friday, and the NL controversy is still going on, but this time they had a $1000 min $25/$50 blinds table (ie the crazy monkey game) and a $400 min $5/$10 blinds game going, so I sat in the $400 game and was utterly bored out of my skull. I spent most of the night down ~$200, until I got a hand where my QQ actually held up to the river, despite an ace on the flop - that finally put me up about $500, at which point the game broke, since a couple players wanted to play pot-limit omaha, and a couple players wanted to get up. This had to have been probably the most boring game in my life, since all that was left to play the $400 min game were the "nut-sitters" as one of the crowd calls them.

I then picked up to play the baby game ($50 min / $200 max; $2/$5 blinds) and managed to get all in with someone who had TPTK to my nut straight, wahoo! Of course, then when I moved tables, I had a hand where everyone limped in, and I limped with A♦ 5♦ along with 7 other people. The flop came down 2 3 4 rainbow, and the big blind overbets the $40 pot with a $75 bet. This is a big flashing sign that says "Hello, I am the big blind and I do not have a straight" - meaning my straight is pretty darn good.

Everyone folds to me, and the guy has ~$110 left, so I say "I'm all in." He doesn't even think about it for more than a second (and let's just realize here that I'm not an absolutely crazy aggressive player at the table, so I likely have a hand) and then says "I call." I flip over my hand, and he goes "ow. I have outs..."

Of course, the turn is a 4, which given his scream of "WOOO! I have FOURS FULL OF TWOS!!" is one of his 6 outs. I roll my eyes, ask the dealer to count it down, and pay the schmuck off. I also then say, "Here's your free lesson for the day: there's no point in overbetting the pot, because the only person that can call you is the person that has you beat, and the person who is going to raise you has you crushed, and you are already way behind." He acknowledges that he got really lucky, but continues to sit there with a smirk on his face for the next 15 minutes.

I shouldn't have been surprised, because for the half hour before that hand, we just got to listen to the bad beats he gave to other folks at the pot-limit omaha game.

Then, to add insult to injury, while I almost built my stack back up to it's pre-suckout state, I get to watch Suck-out-boy distribute the $187 he won from me back to the table in bits and pieces - when I left to go to the newly opened $200 min / $500 max table, he was sitting right around where he originally started ($187). Sigh.

But, I managed to make good on the evening by tripling up on a couple hands at the $500 max table, making the night an overall decent profit night. Plus, I left reasonably early (2 AM), and then slept in the next day - always puts me in a good mood.