Thursday, October 7, 2010

life happened

Wow - no posts since February. Wow.

Guess that's what happens when you meet an amazing chick: just don't find myself wanting to spend 12 hours in a casino poker room, when I could be spending much of that time with an amazing person.

I still dabble online a bit, but even that has been cut down dramatically. When I lived alone, my routine was: work, come home, fix dinner, sit down to some FTP, shower, bed. Now that my fiance and I are living together, we end up doing things together when I get home from work. We only moved in together a month ago, so we still have plenty to do to make our apartment "our" home.

I'm also finding myself in the kitchen much more than I had been. I do the cooking, and find that when I'm not just cooking for myself that I put a lot more thought and effort into the preparation. For myself I'll just throw any old thing together, and if it's not that great, well - eh, no biggie, it'll provide the nutrients I need. But cooking for someone else is a whole different can of worms.

That said: I do sometimes miss being at the casino. My last trip was far from successful: I made a lot of bad, goofy mistakes and left down 2 buy-ins. I did have fun, though.

New law in the state of WA goes into effect 10/15: raising the max bet at non-tribal casinos from $40 to $100. Currently you can play $2-$40 spread at the mini-casinos just north of Seattle. These will most likely be switching to the $2-$100 spread soon enough. Those 2-40 games are pretty soft, and with the right patience, I'm betting on being able to make a pretty good score at the 2-100 games. I'll probably be checking those out at the end of the month.

Maybe I'll post a real poker post after that.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Rush through the stars

So I've been playing Rush Poker for a couple weeks now. It's got me thinking about poker in a whole different way. Turns out that as of now at least, either I'm not very good at Rush Poker, or I've just been severely unlucky. My FTP account is down VERY low right now; I want to get in there and play some Rush Poker but I'm affraid of going completely broke there. So I'm backing off for now, and trying my hand at some other things - like tournaments.

It's been EONS since I played any tournaments online. Sure, I'll do a random $2 turbo sit n go every now and again, but I haven't played any bigger tournaments in a long time. Until tonight. I decided to try my hand at a couple 90-person tournaments, one on FTP, on on Poker Stars. I registered for a $1.10 deepstack 90-seat sit n go on FTP, and a $2.20 90-seat sit n go on Stars. Both started at approximately the same time.

First - the good news:

I final tabled both. Took 6th in the FTP one, and 2nd in the Stars one.

Makes me feel good; gives me some more confidence in my game again - I learned poker from tournaments, then migrated to cash games, and haven't played a tournament in years really, so I wasn't sure if I would have the skills with me still. Turns out it's still there - and I think Rush Poker helped, too -- first off, that I've seen tens-of-thousands of hands over the past couple weeks, thanks to 2 or 3 tabling Rush poker, I've just been able to have the experience of seeing all these odd things happen, and I had to try to adapt to them - adapt to my opponents' tendencies. Rush is tough since it's a different set of opponents each hand, but for me it helped to start to classify a "super-set" of my oponents, not as individuals, but as groups of opponents with different tendencies.

I might try playing more tournaments for the time being, and hopefully I'll build up a decent roll on FTP to dive back into Rush poker. After all, it's so much fun!

I definitely like the tournament structures at Stars MUCH better than on FTP - more time, slower levels - you get a lot of room to play there. But I like the feel of the FTP site better than Stars. Whatever, that's just cosmetics, so it's easy to deal with. And I like that all the tournaments (on both sites) take breaks at 5 before the hour - nice that they're together like that.

Rush Poker - wow. What a goldmine in rake - brilliant from a business standpoint! It is a lot of fun, too. Pauly's post about his Rush Omaha experience is worth the read - I can identify with a lot in that story.

I'd better get back to playing. I'm unemployed, with a lot of time on my hands, so playing online poker has become a BIG distraction. I'm glad I just fell back into the spell of tournaments, though - I forgot how much fun they can be! And who knows, maybe I'll have a big score one of these days!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Obsession

I go through phases with musical groups, but every now and again I'll find - or in this case, rediscover - a new band. This time it's Umphrey's McGee. They've been around for about 10 years, but they're just beginning to hit their stride. They've always been known for their technical mastery, yet they've now grown into their musical chops to really begin to inject feeling into the music, as well as allow themselves the freedom to let the music take them wherever it may go.

Here's Wizard Burrial Ground, which is an impressive thing to watch live. One thing helping them along big time is Lighting Designer Jeff Waful. MOST impressive.

For some reason this doesn't seem to be embedding as I'd expected. So here's the link to the youtube video:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Move the "check" checkbox Full Tilt!

Twice in the last 5 days, I had this happen, thanks to a bad design by Full Tilt and incredibly bad (or good, depending on your POV) timing from my opponent.

It's the river, I'm next to act, and I simply want to check behind -- I hover my house over the "check" checkbox, and am about to click it to enable it. Just as I'm pressing the mouse button down, I mean the exact, the very same instant, my opponent goes All In. In the blink of an eye, the "call" button appears in the very spot where the "check" checkbox was1 I then inadvertently end up calling an all-in bet, and loosing over one buy in each time.

I sent the issue in as a bug report to FT, calling it a design bug, because really that's exactly what it is: due to a poor design, users will at times, under the right circumstance, mistakenly click "call." The action for "check" and the action for "call" should never be in the exact same spot.

Now, at the stakes I dick around at online it's no big deal - after having this happen twice, I'm down the equivalent of a standard preflop raise in the live games I play. However, money's money, and I'd rather not give ten bucks to some idiot because fulltilt made a bad design choice. I'm sure if I was playing for larger sums this would have severely pissed me off. As it stands now, my only recourse is to never use the "check" checkbox.

Submit this as a bug to Full Tilt!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

online card rack

Been playing 30-60 minutes/day online the past couple weeks. Just for fun. Eases the casino-itch a bit. Here are some highlights from a session last night I played at the laundromat (thank you for free VERY fast WiFi!):

"Thanks for the set-up FT!"

First hand at a new 0.02/0.05 table - I watched the guy who's now UTG go all-in preflop 3 times in a row at this point.

I get dealt AA, and watch him open push $0.96, then button smooth-calls. I make a small-raise to $2.25; button pushes, I insta-call.



"Why open-limping OTB with AA at a passive table is a bad move:"

Flop got checked around, I bet / called a raise on the turn, I check/called the push on the river:


"How to crack a set of Kings"

I called a min-raise from the BB with J8 soooted. Loose call, of course, but I won't lay down 2 suited cards from the BB to a min-raise.

Flop goes check/check. Turn I under-bet the pot /call a min-raise. Flop I bet / call a push:

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Grandpa passed away overnight. Amazing how fast he went. Monday I was on the phone with him, ready to book a flight the following week to visit, and when I told him flights were $950 he said "I'm not THAT sick - check later dates." Tuesday afternoon he was put in the hospital, in a lot of pain and difficulty breathing. He was heavily sedated, and comfortable. Wednesday afternoon my mom arrived and reported he was still heavily sedated, and was going to ask the doctor today to keep him less sedated so he could at least talk and visit. 4am local time, he passed away.

Cancer's a bitch. 48 hours after telling me he's not that sick, he's dead. I'm still in shock I think. Heading to Florida tomorrow for the funeral and to be with family.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Vegas mini-report + life stuff

No extended Vegas trip report yet - had a lot going on, a lot on my mind since Vegas.

Finishing up school for the quarter, and been doing some soul-searching, trying to decide whether chemical dependency counseling really is the road I want to walk down. Haven't decided, but have decided to continue with classes through at least summer quarter.

Grandpa's been battling pancreatic cancer for over a year now. Did radiation, then a brief round of chemo which he stopped due to unbearable side effects. Things have been a roller coaster: 2 awesome weeks, followed by 3 horrible ones, 3 good days then 2 bad then 5 good then 6 bad....etc.... had what we thought was a routine procedure scheduled for this week (fluid build-up in the abdomen, which is very typical in pancreatic cancer, which was going to be removed either via drugs or otherwise), but once he hit the hospital he had great difficulty breathing, and since he's been kept overnight he's been heavily sedated and unaware of his surroundings. Talk about a bad beat...

I had been planning a trip next week to visit; unfortunately I may be going there earlier to say goodbye.


Had a great time in Vegas. Venetian is a wonderful place to stay - awesome rooms, nice pools, great food - we didn't leave the Venetian/Palazzo complex for the first 36 hours of the trip.

KA was one of the most awe-inspiring, breathtaking shows I've ever experienced. Simply amazing. Even setting aside the story and the performances, just the technical feat that is the Ka stage and theatre is just -- well, stunning. I'd recommend it to anyone at anytime. I'd go see it again; hell if the tickets were cheaper I'd have stayed for the 2nd show. Unreal, and marvelous.

As far as poker -- had fun playing. I ended the trip down due to a guy making a great call and my draw not making it. It was my last day, my last short session, and check-raised all in on the turn with an OESD + flush draw, the guy tanked for what seemed like 5 minutes before calling with bottom-two pair. I honestly didn't think he was as strong as that even, but he made the call and won the pot, kudos to him.

Rest of the play was totally uneventful -- the place was swarming with poker players, the Venetian poker room was even packed at 3am Saturday night/Sunday morning when I went down. Unreal. The late night action was super-loose and quite passive. I chipped up a bit each night, never any huge hands or big scores.


Been playing online micro-stakes the past week or so ($0.02/$0.05), playing super-loose and making a ton of VERY loose calls with middle and sometimes only bottom-pair. I was the Calling Station at the table, though these were often against players who had been showing a penchant for over-bluffing. I also got some big pots (for the stakes) that allowed me to gambool a bit more than was likely prudent. My FT account took about a $6 hit over the past 7 days, much of which happened 2 nights ago.

Had some really, really sick beats too. Big-time coolers, too - like the blind-vs-blind hand where I flop top 2 and opponent flops a set, I flop a set with AA and get run down by a flush draw with Qs7s... oh, well. If I'm not in Florida I'll be headed to Tulalip for a live-session this Friday; I sometimes feel like I'm easily bluffed, and so don't mind taking a small hit online by getting the "calling-station syndrome" out of my system.