Thursday, June 25, 2009

Things are looking up?

Nothing's definite and I'm a long way from the promised land, but today is the first day in 5 months that things are starting to look good. There's so many good things floating around that I have to believe at least one of them will work out!

In fact, it made me think of this song, for some reason, and it reminded me of just how amazing the video is:

You must love it. You must.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

LJ busts out of the $1500 HORSE event in 10th place

I have mixed feelings here. On one hand, it's AMAZING to go so deep in the tourney. And let's be frank here, a payout of $19,265 on a $1,500 investment ain't nothing to sneeze at. After all, there's a veritable who's who of poker's elite who got jack shit after playing in the same tournament.

On the other hand, it must be incredibly difficult to stomach being in contention for most of the day only to bust on the bubble of the final table. I only saw F-Train post two or three entries on the downswing, but the pots must have been big.

Nevermind that. Good going Lana! I hope you'll concentrate on how great the accomplishment was rather than the disappointment and that will drive you forward. Keep it up and you're due for a final table soon.

The Wall Street train rolls on

Ok, I can't quite take credit for this one, but the list of players who have played at the Wall Street table and are cashing in the WSOP is growing steadily. This time, Lana, our dear LJ, is LEADING THE FIELD at the $1500 HORSE event (Event #31)!!! As of 12:20AM EST 6/16/09, the bubble has burst and Lana has not only cashed but she's LEADING THE FREAKING FIELD!!!!!

This is the best shot we've had since, oh...a few days ago, to have one of our own capture a bracelet.

GO LJ!!!

UPDATE: After starting Day 3 as a shorty stack, Lana is now in 2nd place with 13 players left!!! My excitement level is at an extreme.

Update 2: Make that 10 players left. She just scooped a big pot so she might even be in the lead! Oh hell, just go to PokerNews.Com to get the updates.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Go Pros, Vol 2

Phil Ivey is way in the lead with 3 players left in event #25. This will be his second bracelet of the series if he wins and his 7th overall.

Wow, I SO hope he takes it down.

Update: It's official! Phil Ivey wins his 7th bracelet! Grats to the man of the hour.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

CK 'BWOPS' on the competition

A HUGE congratulations to CK who finished IN THE MONEY at the $2,500 OE event at this year's World Series of Poker (Event #25). Yeah, she barely scraped in, but that doesn't diminish, in the least, the accomplishment of outlasting 337 runners and some of the best players in the world to make a sweet ass profit.

Yep, I knew her when....

Next year, the bracelet.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Go Pros!

No, not prostitutes. You sick people. I mean professional poker players. When the WSOP starts, I always root for the pros to win bracelets because:

A. It's more fun to watch someone you know win when the replay is aired.
B. It lends more credence to the notion that this is a skill game.

So it's with great pleasure that I found out tonight that Phil Ivey has won his 6th bracelet. And not just in any old event. But in the most complicated possible game I think I've ever heard of (with the possible exception of Badugi). The bracelet was won in Event #8 - No Limit Deuce-Seven Draw.

This is not a triple draw game, like you might be thinking. The game is played like 5 card draw, with all cards down. There is a small blind and a big blind along with antes. The first player to enter the pot MUST enter with a raise. After initial betting, you can draw cards and there is another betting round. The best hand is 7-5-4-3-2. Straight and flushes count AGAINST you in this game. Oh, and it's no-limit betting, which must be sick. Just to re-iterate, there is NO information given in this game other than how many cards are drawn, the betting amounts and any tells you can pick up. Just sick.

Phil Ivey is a baaaaad man.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Luck comes in many forms

Note #1: Only peripheral poker content in this post.
Note #2: Despite the contents of this blog entry, I actually go through most days making hundreds of perfectly sound decisions with absolutely no stupidity at all. I only blog the outliers.

As mentioned in a previous post, the Wall Street Poker League ran a very successful tournament series to send one of our representatives to Vegas to play in a WSOP event this year. The winner, "Big" Paul Weiss, won $2,500 of a $3,000 grand prize (the other ($500 got chopped as 2nd and 3rd place the day of the big tourney). The grand prize was not going to get paid out until the winner showed intention to honor the agreement and travel to Vegas. Well, Paul did his part and showed me his travel plans and we made arrangements to hand off the money today at noon. I picked the Upper West Side as the hand-off location because I've been showing my girlfriend's apartment to prospective renters and I was going to make three showings today.

So, I got up this morning at 7:00am (the first showing was 8:15a) and put 25 hundred dollar bills into a security envelope (the ones that are lined so you can't see what's in them), sealed it and wrote Paul's name on it in big letters. Then I packed it into my laptop bag and headed to the apartment.

The first showing was a nice gentleman who worked at Deutsche Bank. He and his wife were just starting to look for apartments and it seemed like he liked our place but wasn't thrilled with the view (a common theme). He left graciously and it was not 8:30a. My next showing wasn't until 12:30p and I was meeting Paul at Shake Shack at 12:00p to hand over the money. I figured the best thing for me to do was to set myself up at the local Starbucks with my laptop, take over a table, and make it my office for the next 3 hours.

Things went swimmingly at first. I was having my coffee and bagel and everything was peachy. I played a little poker, did a little job research and bought a few items for a really cool crafts project I'm planning to make(hey, unemployment leaves me with lots of time). About two hours in, the coffee and bagel took effect and the men's room called. Here's where logistics comes in.

I needed to go to the men's room but I didn't want to leave the envelope stuffed with $2,500 in cash in my laptop bag. Yes, it would probably be safe, tucked away in my bag, but why take the chance. I was much more comfortable leaving the laptop, because that's only worth about $700 retail and it's out in the open with lots of people watching it anyway. But if someone wanted to walk away with my laptop bag, I reasoned, it would be less noticeable and the thief would gain a nice bonus. So I did what I thought was reasonable and I took the envelope with me to the men's room. Just for clarification, the men's room is really a single unisex bathroom with a locking door, so it's not shared while in use.

Walking towards the bathroom, the envelope in my hand, I got the notion that I didn't want the envelope in plain sight, lest someone do a snatch-and-dash on me. So I tucked it in between my zipped up hoodie and my t-shirt. Note that I did NOT put it in my jeans pocket. Everything was fine right until I business. Ali called me on my cell phone and I took the call. So there I was, all set to wash my hands, with a cell phone in my hand. So I (you can see this coming, right?) took the envelope. Out of my hoodie. And placed it on the sink. So I could wash my hands and balance my phone on my neck without fear that the envelope would fall out.

And that, my friends, was the dumbest thing I've done in a LOOOOOOONG time.

Needless to say, I finished washing my hands while I was talking to Ali and proceeded to walk straight out of the Starbuck's bathroom, with an envelope stuffed with $2,500 in cold hard cash sitting on the sink. Just writing that sentence is making me throw up a little in my mouth.

I sat back down at my laptop, finished my conversation and got back to surfing the web. It was 11:45a, a full 45 minutes later, when I was packing up to go, that the first wave of panic hit. The envelope was not in sight. I double-checked, triple-checked my bags and my person. The second wave of panic hit. This one was stronger. I was immediately frantic. My mind went in 12 directions at once. Did someone steal it while I wasn't looking? Did I leave it somewhere? Was I pickpocketed? Is there some chance I can figure out who? Is there a camera with tape in this place?

All of those thoughts cascaded through my mind and I broke out into a flop-sweat, just like in the comic strip Cathy. The barrista closest to me was looking at me funnily, almost with a look of recognition in her eyes. So I posed the hopeful question: "Did someone return an envelope to you?". It only took her a second to respond but it felt like that second stretched out into an hour. She nodded, careful not to describe anything. I filled in the blanks for her. "It has the name Paul Weiss on it". She broke into a smile and the tension lifted. "Yeah, they have it in the back."

I collected the envelope, still sealed amazingly enough, and tipped the staff $20 for their kindness. It's amazing to think that if I hadn't used a security envelope, or if the patron who had found it hadn't returned it, or if the Starbucks staff was a little less scrupulous, I would have been out $2500 and personally funded Paul's trip to Vegas. And that would have been a shitty situation.

As is, it was a full FOUR HOURS, before I recovered from the event psychologically. And I really hope this fills my quota for incredibly dumb things I've done this year. My body can't handle any more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stud/8 victory!

It was a long tourney for only 43 players (3.25 hours) but I took it down! A Stud/8 tourney on Full Tilt and the winner's spot is mine! I've been playing a lot of late night tourneys for cheap stakes online and doing really well, or close to well. Meaning that I've been going very deep or barely getting into the money. This time, I was in the top 10 for the entire tourney, though I barely made the money by laying down some very tough hands and staying aggressive when I had the best door cards. When the bubble burst, I only had 4 BB's, but I managed to win a few small pots and watched with glee as my opponents took each other out. After busting the fourth place player, the chip leader busted the other big chip stack and it was heads up.

At this point, I was a 3-1 underdog, but made a big straight to the 6 to scoop a pot and pull even. At this point, with only 300 chips separating our stack, I asked if he wanted to chop. He asked "How?" So I explained that he would fold to me and then I would send him the difference between the 2nd place money and the chop amount. He said "OK". So lo and behold, on the next hand, he kept re-raising me! I figured he was just trying to dump chips and he'd fold on 7th street. We capped every bet and when 7th street came, he called my bet! MOTHERFUCKER! Luckily, I had walked into a King High flush, which crushed his Aces up and I ended up with the 4-1 chip lead. I was indignant though that he'd try to backstab me. So I confronted him and he was all, "Oh, I'm sorry. I've never chopped before. Are we still chopping?". To which I replied, "No. Game on."

I busted him two hands later when my wired 9's put him all in to his wired Jacks but I made Queens up on 7th street to take it down. I feel a bit dirty, but justified!

Monday, June 1, 2009


I'm in a single table tourney, with rebuys allowed in the first hour. Early on, I raise to 3x the BB in late position with TdTh. I get one caller who had limped and then called my raise. Flop is J83 with two diamonds. He checks, I bet 750. He calls. Turn is 7d. He checks, I check. River is As. He bets out 2000 and I fold. I end up making those chips back and I'm about 20% profit on my starting stack when I lose my profit raising and then C-betting with AsQs, only to get raised all in on the flop (all unders and no spades) by a guy who had QQ. I fold my AQ, he shows and life goes on.

So basically, I can't quite get traction. I'm on the button with a little under my starting stack in the 4th level (aggressive blinds and antes have already started). Matty Ebs raises UTG to 700 (blinds at 100/200 and a 25 ante). One guy calls and I call with 9cTc in position. One other guy calls and the flop is a dreamy 7s-8c-Kc. Flush draw and OESD. It checks to Matty who bets 2000 (about half my stack). One caller folds and I debate shoving, but I figure he's not gonna fold anyway so I wanna peel off one more. I figure maybe I'll get a free river and if I miss both streets I can check it down and keep some chips. So I just call and now it's heads up. Turn is the 7c. Matty checks and I move all in. He quick calls with...87o. I have two outs for the straight flush, but please. That only happens on TV.