Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thank you, girls, for staying put for another week

That may be the title of my posts until they actually come.

I could have done something braggy like:
• A New Me at the Mookie
• I Am Awesome
• I Love The Mookie
• Chop, Chop, Chop
• We here are Bartles and James thanks you for your support

But, nah, let's keep the karma going, shall we?
Yes. Let's.

First of all, thank you for all your support, folks. Things are dandy right now. Kate is feeling the weight of almost 11 pounds of baby, which is like having a Shaq, but so far those little girls are actually cooperating with Daddy and have decided to hang in the womb a bit longer. So now even if Kate lasts until Sunday, I get to cover the jazz festival here, I get to run in a race, and, most importantly, the two will be at 34 weeks and their lungs will have had the chance to get some super-mongo development thanks to a steriod shot or two that Kate got before she went home.
(Side note: Kate took the shot in the butt. Damn. Those girls aren't even out yet and they're ALREADY kicking our ass).
Kate, a P.E. teacher, hopes that doesn't ruin their chances in gymnastics for the Olympics. I hope the steriod doesn't mean they will have huge racks at 13, thereby forcing me to take lessons on how to clean a shotgun on my front porch until they are 26.

Anyway, shall we move on to the Mookie?
Yes. Let's

• • •

So I am floating around here:

And what would the old Pokerpeaker, like the guy, er, two weeks ago would have done? He would have waited around for a premium hand and hoped for the best.
That, after two years of playing good, solid poker, I've discovered does not win you tournaments. Especially blogger tournaments. Tough ones like the Mookie.
Now I have blogged before about how I was changing my style, blah blah blah, yeah yeah yeah. And I did. I bluff a lot more now. But what I still didn't do was steal.
Stealing is an art. It is much harder than it looks. And it's something that poker books don't teach. At least, not very well. I was a book learner. After a year of play money three years ago, I decided to really learn the game and got a bunch of books and read the shit out of them. Those books helped. I learned the game. I am extremely sound. Fundamental. Downright solid.
But unfortunately, those books, along with playing a year of play money and learning that simply playing solid poker wins big pots, doesn't teach you how to steal. When everyone else at the table knows how to play - and that's true more and more these days, not just at blogger tournaments, well, you can't just play solid poker, make great laydowns and hope others make a mistake.
I figured that given my style of tight-until-a-diamond-comes-out-of-your-butt wouldn't have to change too much. But I did need to steal. I needed to be more aggressive pre-flop based on position and the situation and who I was up against and not just my cards.
So I've been working on that. I have played $25 NL poker to build my bankroll on Ultimate Bet (my last PSO bonus before Neteller exploded, so I figure why not build that sucker up to go along with Full Tilt and Poker Stars?). I have stolen many more pots, even at that level. the Mookie tonight, I stole. A lot. For me, at least. I didn't go crazy. Every hand I raised with was a decent holding. But I raised more on position than what I had. Before I would fold K,8 sooted, even on the button in a six-handed game. Tonight I raised it automatically.
I won't go on and on about this. There were other keys tonight. I made some great laydowns - K,A three times, JJ once when Kat re-raised me all in with AA - and I made some decent bluffs post-flop, including 10,3 against Waffles when I was on life support and 4,2 against a big blind with nothing. And I got lucky, twice getting trips with K,8, once when I was nearly gasping for air. I only made two bad plays tonight and got away from them when I realized they weren't working.
Finally, though, I realized something. It was easier when I was raising a fair amount. For instance, it was easy to get away from JJ, even though I had to raise it in first position, because Kat, a solid player, re-raised me. Plus I had lots more blinds to work with, so I wasn't always pushing and hoping for coin flips. In fact, I didn't have many tonight. The ones I did have, 2-3, I won two and lost one.
Oh, and there was this, too:

That's right, two away from the final table, I am re-raised all in while I hold K,A, and I call it, and he has K,J, and he gets a J on the flop, and I was just starting to say MOTHER *((^(8JLI SON....
And then the A hit on the turn.
Never mind.

So, I got lucky, and I made good laydowns, and I made a lot more steals than I normally would, and after winning that huge pot, it was on to the final table, and we wound up chopping it up for second and third, given that Mattazuma had a huge lead on the two of us and I wanted to take the money at that point.
Nice win, Matta.

Here it is, with a tie for second:

So I believe I"m looking pretty good on the Mookie leader board.
Maybe, just maybe, that hot wind that Don is feeling on his neck is me breathing down it.
Wait. That sounded really ghey.
Moving on.

• • •

This poker blog continues to entertain me with the top-10 Poker Babes. I love it.
I have a few in mind. Change 100, Kat, Gracie, Iron Girl, Poison, Love Elf, Carmen, The Princess, April and my favorite twin mom (links to the right, I'm tired). My wife gets counted too even though she knows about as much about poker as Jayden (something I hope to remedy one day; Jayden, not Kate). She's carrying two boulders in her belly right now. She gets a pass.

• • •

I will abide by Pauly's wishes and not blast ESPN for deciding to part with him so soon after getting us all excited about the poker coverage this year.
Instead, I'll offer a note of praise.
Pauly isn't working there because of creative differences.
Now, it would be extremely easy for Pauly to have given in and decided he would do fluffy features on the same fucking (sorry, pardon my french but I'm fired up over this) pros every damn year. He didn't do that, despite the fact that this gig meant a lot to him, more, I believe, than he's even letting on.
As a journalist, I've had to fight for my writing style in the past, and so when Pauly got the gig, I (and apparently lots of others) sent him one piece of advice: Be yourself.
Apparently he took that to heart, but I get the feeling he knew that anyway.
Look, I'm so impressed with this because I'm not sure I would do the same thing. It's easy for me to say I would stick to my guns and tell ESPN that it would be my way or no way, but that's a pretty nice gig. I'm sure I would probably compromise a bit. It hurts to say that, and yet, I probably would.
Pauly stuck to it. He's also right. Poker is a nasty business and a wonderful game at the same time, and I'm tired of ESPN presenting it like it's the annual Scrabble tournament. Pauly wanted to show both sides. As, by the way, most good journalists do.
Good for him. I'll continue to read his wonderful blog. Now more than ever.

• • •

I was thinking about how much fun tournaments are, but I've focused most of my attention on cash games this year, successfully, I might add. I don't know if I'll have much else when the girls arrive. It's a lot easier to leave a cash game and tend to a squawly baby than an SnG. Even if it's turbo. And I hate turbo SnGs anyway.
I do hope I can continue with the Mookie. I don't know if convincing Mom when she's out here that I need her to feed baby A or Baby 1A so I can play a poker tournament will work.
Maybe if I tell her about how you've all been so supportive lately it will help.


TripJax said...

Excellent job with a top 3 finish...always impressive to go that far in a Mookie...

The Poker Enthusiast said...

Well done.

PokahDave said...

Nice play in the Mook last night....I was definitely up for a chop as I am on the East cost and it was getting late. I thought it was pretty funny with all the chop confusion..oh...and due to the impending birth of those twins....I transferred a whole extra dollar...ya know for diapers and such.

SirFWALGMan said...

Good job my man. I knew you were bluffing me on that t3 hand, but nice job. You put all your chips in and I had to make the big decision with bottom pair. Came really close to calling you but could not pull the trigger. Good game. Good game.

Craig Cunningham said...

Congrats on the nice finish!

Drizztdj said...


Nice job.

Chipper said...

Chalk up another fine finish for the Greeley bloggers! If they ever come up with a blogger team event - we should join forces. Must be the air we breathe here eh?

I'll hold off on your offer to stock up on Full Tilt for the moment. If and when I go back to Full Tilt, I want to bring over a decent enough bankroll. I could easily move over about $100 or so, but I'd be stuck just playing the blogger tourneys and would have to cash in one of them quick just to keep that meager roll alive.

Schaubs said...

Nice finish last night. You applied a great amount of pressure at the end. Good luck in the coming weeks too!

Amy said...

heh! I know nothing about poker (all I suspect hanging out here may change that) but I know a thing or two about being pregnant with 2.

Here's hoping that it won't be so much longer that your poor wife will suffer, but also heres hoping that its long enough that the babes are fit and healthy.

Will be crossing fingers for the ideal outcome.