Thursday, August 31, 2006


I got all in with the identical flopped nuts on two tables at once -- Q9 in the hole and JT8 on the board. Got all the money in on the turn. Lost both on the river.

I had been ahead a little bit before that disaster. I was surprised to find that I was still ahead after it.

How is that possible? Where does all this money come from?

I think there are at least two answers: one is that practice and study are paying off, and the second is that I feel like I'm able to execute. I'm doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason, and not chickening out on risky plays that have a positive expectation.

Anyways, it's easy to talk big when I'm making money. Just watch me go on a bad run and start whining.


I know this drives some people crazy, but I love knowing that the random number generator used to deal cards on some sites is based on things like mouse movements, thermal noise and timing of user input.

I picture as many as 52 possible outcomes (the number of cards in deck) changing by the millisecond based on hundreds or thousands of unseen inputs. It isn't like in a live casino, where it's easy to think that your bad beat was preordained by that river card lying in wait near the top of the deck.

Instead, all the cards are unmarked until the moment they are dealt. There are no cards, there is no meaning, until the moment they become visible. And only then do they become real.

There are no bad beats. That time I folded the best hand on the turn that would have been defeated by a flush on the river? On the Internet, I know the flush card might not have come if I had chosen to call. That time I got lucky and the board paired when I pushed my set into a straight? On the Internet, the board may not have paired if I had folded.

It doesn't matter. The only thing that's important is making the right choices for the right reasons with the cards you're dealt.

Any consequences are the product of a finite number of possibilities.

Here's a link from Lion Tales about poker sites' RNGs.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Free money

Most of you probably know about this sweet offer at Mansion Poker, but just in case:

You can wager $1,100 there on the Pittsburgh Steelers-Miami Dolphins season opener. If the Steelers win, you win $1,000. If the Dolphins win, Mansion Poker refunds your money within three days.


I have never seen an offer like this before, and Mansion Poker seems pretty reputable. Even if you don't know anything about sports betting (like me), this is an incredible deal. Here's the 2+2 thread, as originally pointed to by Dumbasses Trump All.


Here's one of the few photos I took from my baseball trip to L.A. Pictured are Erin, Owen and Alan. Kent and A.J. were also there, but somehow I don't have any pictures of them. Sorry.

And here's another angle of my computer monitor setup.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A supposedly fun hand I'll never play again

I wound up in this $2,192.45 pot that I almost won. So close. But I like my play in the hand.

Just before the hand started, the MP1 player says he's going to leave to play 5/10 NL.

"Or go all in first who knows," he wrote in chat. "And lose."

Party Poker ($6 no limit). Hand converted by Check Raised hand converter

Preflop (9 players): Hero is BTN with

2 folds.

MP1 raises $12.00.

3 folds.

HERO calls ($12.00).

1 fold.

BB calls ($6.00).

Flop (6.5 bets ($39) in pot, 3 players):

BB checks.

MP1 bets $30.00.

HERO raises $100.00.

BB calls ($100.00).

MP1 raises $239.31 (All in).

MP1: "Big hand. It will get cracked."

At this point, I feel like I have enough information to put this guy on an overpair. I don't know where I stand in relation to the BB player, but I feel like he's on a draw, and I'm pretty damn sure I have MP1 beat.

HERO raises $872.30 (All in).

BB calls ($815.34).

Turn (365.99 bets ($2195.95) in pot, 3 players):

River (365.99 bets ($2195.95) in pot, 3 players):


MP1 has Three of a kind, Kings [ ]

BB has Flush, King high [ ] and won $2135.49 (177.96bb)

HERO has Two pair, Eights and Sixes [ ] and won $56.96 (4.75bb)

For what it's worth, here's the breakdown when all the money went in, according to

Holdem Hi: 903 enumerated boards containing 9d 8d 6h
cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV
8s 6s 326 36.10 577 63.90 0 0.00 0.361
Ks Kc 117 12.96 786 87.04 0 0.00 0.130
Jd Td 460 50.94 443 49.06 0 0.00 0.509

I didn't get my money in with the best of it, but I made good reads and acted on them. In addition, I had enough equity to show a profit in the long run by pushing my two pair.

That big pot sure would have been nice though.

Woh, Party

Party Poker acted against a cheater! It isn't much, but I'm surprised they did anything at all.

Dear XXXX,

Thank you for taking the time to report a potentially suspect usage of the
'disconnect protect' feature.

We have thoroughly investigated XXXX's account history with a particular
focus on their previous usage of this feature.

We have found that the hand you reported to us was indeed suspicious and as the
investigation has revealed further suspicious disconnects in the past, we have
proceeded to block the protection feature for this player. In future, should
they disconnect their hand will be folded. The player concerned has been sent an
email explaining the reason for our actions.

If you need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact us anytime, we are available around the clock to assist you with your
account related questions and suggestions.


Investigations Team

Friday, August 25, 2006

Late night

The tables seem to dry up around 10 p.m. HST, so that means it's time to play 6 max!

It hasn't been hard to ramp up the aggression in position, but I'm still working on getting looser from the button. I think I've made some progress.

Although whatever benefits are gained from that are subtracted by some of my donkish plays, especially against short stacks. Why do I even bother. No implied odds = kind of a waste of time.

But whatever. I just can't believe how easy it is to have the table completely under control just by playing position more than anything else -- it's probably more important than the cards.

Anyways, that was fun. I foresee more 6-max in my future, but not as a full-time gig.


Pluto isn't a planet. Doug wrote a funny post.


"Blade" the TV series is awesome.

It has all the elements of a good vampire story -- children vampires, vampires feeding on children, vampires turning their loved ones to the dark side in order to save them, lots of deaths, hot chicks, fight scenes, a fast-paced plot and occasional bad acting.

I think the show is on its eighth episode. Check it out before I start hearing rumors that it might get canceled.


I never wrote about my kick-ass monitor setup. I planned on posting photos, but I'm feeling really lazy right now.

So here's how I have it:

On the far left of my desk is the laptop, and the screen is linked to the central monitor using a program called Synergy, which allows mouse and keyboard sharing.

In the center is the new monitor, which is a 20 or 21 inch flat screen with 1600X1200 resolution, so I can fit four Party Poker tables on it, never having to click back and forth. This monitor is run off my ATI 2006 All-in-Wonder AGP video card, which is also wired to an antenna. The antenna broadcasts TV audio and video across the room to a receiver so I can watch things from my computer on my TV. So the TV is, in effect, the third monitor hooked up to MarkNet.

The fourth monitor is on the right of my desk, and it runs off the cheapest ATI Rage video card I could find. There were some brief driver conflicts between the new video card and the existing one, but they worked well together once I installed them separately.

It's awesome. I have chat and audio on the laptop screen, poker on the middle screen, and web browsing and random crap on right screen.


I've been running more even over the last six days than I have in over a year. Most of these last few days have been losing days, but only by a small amount. It's frustrating to not be going up, but at least I'm not going down much.

I think I'm running pretty cold. It isn't that I'm not getting cards; it's just that I'm not getting hardly any action at all. And I know I'm giving action, so I'm sure it will come around.

That's why I played a long session tonight. I have off Friday and Saturday this weekend, so there's no reason to go to bed early or hold back unless I'm not feeling up to it. I think it was worth it -- I finished about one buy-in ahead over many hands. Good enough.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I used to be superstitious, but now I let the poker gods sort things out

What a bizarre evening of poker. I don't even know what to make of it.

My reads were off, but at least I followed through on them. I take solace in that because most of the time, my reads are pretty damn good, and I would have felt worse if I had made weak folds.

These ultra-tight players kept making strange moves that I couldn't quite grasp. One tighty called my TT middle position raise with KJo from the button and then flopped trips. My notes said that he has been raising my continuation bets as bluffs, so I put him to the test on the turn. Woops.

Then I ran KK into AA preflop. Hate that.

Then I collided with this one dude who, over 600 hands, had only raised 2 percent of his hands preflop. He raised from late position, I jacked it up to nearly 4X his bet with AA on the big blind, and he called. We got all in on a T-high flop, and he turns over 99 for a flopped set. OK, whatever.

Whatever, whatever, whatever.

So I'm nearing the end of my session down somewhere around two or three buyins. Then this hand happens -- one of the oddest I've seen recently.

At a 3/6 NL table, a short stack goes all in for $80 from middle position. A loose player to my right calls, I raise from the button to $250, and then one of the blinds goes all in for about that amount.

Both the CO and I call, and the flop came Q high! Cha-ching!

When I had sufficiently crippled the only other live stack in the pot, the cards were turned up: 66 from the original all-in raiser, AA for the guy to my right, KK from the all-in guy in the blinds.

I rake in a gigantic pot, enough to put me ahead for the night.

Was it ever in doubt?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Like a donkey

Sometimes I have the maturity level of a 5-year-old. I know I've done something wrong, I don't remember what it was, but I still feel bad about it.

It's like when a child gets a scratch on his hand, and he's crying because he knows it's supposed to hurt, but then he'll easily forget the pain when the next distraction comes along.

That's the way it is with me and tilt. I'm vaguely pissed off about something that went wrong in the game, but I know that the best way for me to not be angry about it is to get distracted by the next hand.

Ideally, I could realize what went right or wrong and not even let it bother me. I would be calm and collected, at peace with the things I can't control and making the most out of the things I can.

But even when I do everything right and somehow I don't win, I'm tilt-prone because I don't like the sensation of losing.

See? This is not mature, rational behavior.

OK, now that I've gotten that down, let's look in PokerTracker and remember exactly what it was that got me pissed off ...

Ah, here it is. I ran AQ into a fishy player's A6 that flopped two pair. Then I ran JJ into a set of fours, and a couple of hands later I continuation bet JJ into a flopped Ace and got raised.

None of these hands broke me. I think I'd play the AQ hand the same way against that player. I got a little bit stubborn with JJ on such a nondescript flop. And then that continuation bet with JJ into that flopped A was kind of ridonkulous.


When I was a kid who loved the original Nintendo, I insisted on using the NES Advantage, which was the controller with the big buttons and the joystick. I wanted to beat every game I played, but sometimes I'd completely lose my temper and smash the NES Advantage into the floor out of anger.

I ruined four NES Advantages that way, and I had to pull a lot of weeds to earn enough extra allowance to buy a new one.

My temper isn't that bad anymore. I haven't thrown my wireless mouse or tossed my laptop into a swimming pool, like I heard Mike Matasow did once.

I do still squirm like the donkey I am when I don't get my way, and it costs me.

The only solutions I know of are to stop playing if I'm not playing well, practice and try to be patient.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I have good news and good news.

Good news first: My big hands held up, I won some money and then called it an early night. The only downside is that I don't have anything interesting to write.

But winning rules. Just not very compelling for ye olde blog.

I meant to write about implied odds, but again, I don't have anything constructive to say. I don't even know how to really calculate them, other than by coming up with very rough estimates. Is there any accurate way to count implied odds besides just making an educated guess? Let me know in comments.

My new computer monitor arrives today! Here it is. I'm really looking forward to getting it because I've needed a screen that can display four Party Poker tables without any overlap for quite some time. After I get this one set up, I will have three monitors and a TV screen all hooked up together. It'll be awesome.

And now for the good news: I hit a Royal Flush and got paid off. Woot!

Party Poker ($6 no limit). Hand converted by Check Raised hand converter

Preflop (10 players): Hero is UTG with

HERO raises $20.00.

3 folds.

MP3 calls ($20.00).

LP calls ($20.00).

4 folds.

Flop (11.5 bets ($69) in pot, 3 players):

HERO bets $45.00.

MP3 calls ($45.00).

LP folds.

Turn (26.5 bets ($159) in pot, 2 players):

HERO bets $85.00.

MP3 calls ($85.00).

River (54.83 bets ($329) in pot, 2 players):

HERO bets $100.00.

MP3 calls ($100.00).


MP3 has a pair of Kings [ ]

HERO has Straight Flush, Ace high [ ] and won $525.50 (43.79bb)

That's all I've got. May your luck be as good as mine.