Thursday, November 25, 2004

Bankroll Me
"It's quality, man, not quantity!" - Slater, Dazed & Confused
Last night I hopped on Party Poker to work off 500 hands for a monstrous reload bonus. I sat down at a $25 NL table to get my feet wet. Instantly, I had Phil from Studio Glyphic sweating me. He mentioned something to SirFwalgman and the next thing I knew it... I had two bloggers at my table. That was the first time I got to play with SirFWalgman and I was pumped to final cross paths at the cyber tables. Within a half hour, Maudie from Poker Perspectives and HDouble from The Cards Speak both joined us, and Derek was on the rail. Two nights ago I got to play with Iggy from Guinness and Poker and Al Can't Hang for a bit. It felt good to play with my peers after a long hiatus.

Things got freaky early. I dropped the hammer and took down a pot when a 7 hit the board. Later on HDouble bluffed SirFWalgman UTG with 83o. Fantastic! Then some loose idiot sat down. He got me to fold JJ on the turn when I put him on a small set or a higher pocket pair. He had 54o and called my 8x BB preflop raise with that junk hand. He beat out some woman's A high with a pair of fives. I was wicked pissed and tagged him right away. I just don't have much faith in pocket Jacks. Obviously I gave him more credit than he deserved.

I also managed to bad beat another guy. I had A2s in the BB. He raised a fairly small amount preflop and I defended my blinds and saw a flop. Well, I luckily flopped a flush with three clubs on the board. I checked and he bet the size of the pot. I smooth called and he moved all in on the turn. I pushed my stack all in and took down his KK. If he bet more preflop I would have folded, but then again he made a crucial error betting into me with a flush on the board. The road to Party Poker cash outs are paved with piss poor mistakes made by players in their post-flop play. That was a prime example, not being able to lay down a high pocket pair.

Bad Beat of the Day

A few orbits later I found KK in the BB (Or shall I say Hellmuths in homage to Asphnxma from Riding the F Train). I raised 10x BB when five people tried to limp in. I got one caller, my nemesis. I put him on a middle pair or something like AJo. He actually held AKo, better than I expected, but I was still the favorite. The flop: 10-7-2. HDouble called out, "The hammer!" I wish I had the hammer. I knew I was still leading unless he had 10-10 or 7-7. He checked and I bet 2x pot (about $20) to find out. He called. The turn: Q. He checked again and I pushed out another $20 to put him all in. He called with a gutshot Broadway straight draw! And guess what spiked on the river? A fuckin' Jack. I was steamed. If he had a dog, I would have kicked the fucker, that's how pissed I was. I wanted to fly out to Sunnyvale California where this chump lived and smack him upside the head with my copy of Super System. I've been playing enough now to know I should shake off that bad beat, but sometimes it hurts too much. My brother quickly rushed to my defense and berated the nimrod in the chat. Of course having four other poker bloggers at the table was a little comforting. They were mostly shocked that someone would call a $20 bet on the flop with just A high and call another $20 bet on the turn with A high and a gutshot draw. This was a guy willing to give me his money and the Party Poker gods decided otherwise. I knew someone not in the hand must have folded a J... which gave him 3 outs to hit his gutshot. Oh well. My buddy Brad had a saying that you should get up and take a break after a wicked bad beat, even suggesting that you should end your session right there and go home. I played a few more hands before I took his advice. I said good bye to my fellow bloggers and added the dickwad to my buddy list. I will be tracking him down this weekend, looking to exact revenge like a grizzled gunslinger wounded in a high noon showdown that went awry.

Rake This

Yep, I have like 400 more hands to go to work off my bonus. I'll be on Party Poker all holiday weekend, so stop by and say hello if you wanna play or sweat me. In the last few days, I won 2 Caribbean Sub-Qualifiers (winning free rolls) and came in 5th in both Qualifiers. Not very impressive. I'm going to stick to the NL ring games to work off my bonus and play a three table SNG once in a while to change things up. I'm also looking to play a stud tourney on Pokerstars sometime this weekend.

I said I'd discuss my partnership with my friend Briana in more detail. She's bankrolling me on Party Poker and loves seeing her name blogged. She's a whore for attention. Aren't most blondes? So, I'm solo when it comes to other poker sites and live play. Before my hiatus, I had been suffering a horrible losing streak starting from my birthday (late Sept.) through Halloween. My Party Poker bankroll took almost a $900 hit. My cash bankroll was fleeced for more than $1000. All the badbeats, suckouts, and loose mistakes caught up to me. That trip to the Borgata with the bloggers killed me, along with a bad performance at the Blue Parrot and a few losing sessions at Foxwoods which helped deplete my cash roll.

Yep, my overall bankroll is looking thinner than a strung out, anorexic, Eastern European, cokehead model. I was concerned about having sufficient funds for the upcoming Vegas trip and luckily Briana was open to hearing about investment opportunities specifically regarding becoming my backer. I explained to her that I had made an error cashing out $200-250 a week (for ten straight weeks) out of my Party Poker account to pay for my summer traveling and fun in the sun. Because I withdrew money from my bankroll to cover my expenses, that left me with a very small cushion to absorb any bad streaks. I was also skimming out of my cash bankroll, another no-no. I knew what I was doing was a mortal sin for poker players and took a chance. Life's short and I'm one to live in the moment. Following Phish on their last tour and seeing friends this summer was a bigger priority than padding my bankroll. Obviously, that's a flaw in my overall poker outlook that I'll have to address in the future. For moment, the temporary solution was to find a backer to absorb any incurred loses between now and Vegas, in order to preserve whatever cash I had lying around.

The first problem I had with this partnership was the friendship factor. Never do business with friends. But I don't know too many people who were willing to hand over $500 in cash and take a walk to a Western Union office to send a wire transfer to Gibraltar. Yep, in the last six months, I have sent cash to several countries -- Venezuela, Costa Rica, Curaco -- mostly in South America to fund poker accounts and my sports book account. I wonder if that suspicious financial activity will get me flagged by the suits at Homeland Security? Alas, it came down to a simple fact that she's got faith in me. Poor girl. I wonder if I blow her seed money, if will she still trust me?

The second factor of concern was having to split my winnings 50-50. Sure I won't be losing with my money, but my online income will be cut in half. The only thing I can do to counteract that is to move up in limits (especially in SNGs from $30 to $50 and $100). Since I play no limit I guess after I clear my bonus, I'll head to the $100 and $200 tables. Hopefully I'll go on a decent run and I'll be able to rebuild up my bankroll and go back to being solo next year.

So far this has been working out and although I thrive on pressure, Briana hasn't been on my case breathing down my neck expecting results, like a George Steinbrenner. Our partnership will give her more incentive to read my poker blog, but she still admits I'm speaking another language when I ramble on relentlessly about poker. And watching Celebrity Poker Letdown won't help her much, although it might hold her short attention span enough that she'd pick up on some lingo.

That's it for now. Have a good Turkey Day. Last year around this time I was teaching my brother how to play hold'em to prepare him for our upcoming December trip to Vegas. He's come a long way since then after he won his first $100 SNG a few weeks ago. I think we all have in some way evolved into more studious players. These blogs have helped me find my niche as a writer, in addition too improving my game, finding a tight knit support group, and making new friends.

On a special day of thanks, I want to thank all my fellow bloggers for inspiring me. Good luck at the tables.

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