Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Mookie tonight.

I took 3rd place last week. Looking for a win tonight.

Spread 'em

I spent a couple hours at the $3-100 spread limit game at Garden City last night.
First notable hand I played against a thick african-american dude. He looked tired. He'd probably been there a few hours. He was continually rubbing his eyes, yawning etc.
I raised from late position with AdQh. He called. The flop came down 648 rainbow. I bet he calls. Turn comes blank. He looked to be drawing. Maybe he had a low pair. I figured I might be able to push him off his hand. I bet again, he thought a bit and called. River came an ace, pairing me. I bet 1/3 the pot. He goes into the tank for a minute and calls. I flip over the Aces, and he mucks.
Later, he limps from early position. Two more players limp to me in the cutoff. I raise with AdJc. He calls. The flop comes down with three diamonds. He thinks for a bit and sticks in the rest of his chips. I'm getting just better than two to one, and with the nut flush draw, I reluctantly call. The turn and river blank. I miss completely. I figure him for at least a pair and flash my ace. He nods. My ace good?? He mucks and leaves the table.
Later a weak-ish young player to my right limps. I raise with A9s. The flop comes down 10,7,6 with two spades. He bets out $30. I say raise, and push in $100 more. He thinks for a moment and mucks.
A bit later I pick up some big hands but am unable to get more than a couple blinds. At that point, a couple new players show up at my table, and I donk off a bunch of my stack leaving me almost even. After four hours of play, and after being up $250, I break even.

So all in all, I played ok. I should've been able to capitalize on my big hands more. I should've laid down an A7 to a shortstack pre-flop all-in... He had rockets. I could've gotten away from some resteals.
I have noticed that after a couple hours of play, the chips no longer feel like cash. They start to feel like chips. My nervousness is pretty much gone.
As long as I continue to play my top game, tight-aggressive, make good reads, apply pressure, and make good lay downs, this game has potential for me.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Garden City

Finally sat down at the spread limit game at Garden City. It's a $100 buy-in, $3-100 spread limit, with $1-3 blinds. I doubled up right quick when AA held up to the river against a sneaky player holding a straight draw. The next few rounds I played tight, stealing 2 hands to keep my stack even. Then, during my big blind, several players limp including the small blind. I check with 65o. Flop comes 554. SB bets I call. Everyone else folds. Turn 4. He pushes $100. I raise all-in (maybe another $85). River blainks. He flips over 94o I rake a shit pile of chips.
I hate to say that I hit and run, but I pretty much did. Chad showed up took one look at the list, which was 30-40 players long and said, "yeah, not gonna happen". So I played a couple more rounds, bought the dude I crippled a couple drinks, and cashed out soon after with 4x buy-in.

Initial impression: This game is definitely beatable. There are some horrendous players. Some think they're tricky, a couple really are. Most are very transparent.
I had the 10 seat. To my left, a mid thirties caucasion guy, a prop player badge. Played solid, aggressive style. Next to him, a young asian guy. Wild hair. He wore three layers of grimy polo shirts, an a funk'dified Tan sweater. He was sweating and grinding his teeth. He played very aggressive usually all-in on the flop. Re-bought twice. Then a dark skinned gentleman; mustache, Oakley sunglasses, and a stoic demeanor. Then a young college looking kid. That is, skinny, light curly hair, argyle sweater. Probably Stanford grad student. A young philipino or islander who was a spitting image of BJ Penn. He started with a big stack but got caught bluffing a couple hands and had about a buy-in left in chips. Then and older white guy. Very friendly nice fellow who played poorly. Then the sneaky player. White, late thirties, stocky, talky. He liked to play low suited connectors hoping to draw. Liked to call out his opponents hands. Then the young hyper-aggressive player to my right. Derrick I think he said. Nice enough guy. Boisterous. Talked it up. He was showing tons of preflop bluff raises. The prop player was itching for a piece.
These guys were decent players. I would try and stay away from the prop player. But for the most part I think I could do good in this game.

In order to win at this game: Play a smart tight-aggressive game, pick on the fish, and stay away from the good players. Pot control will be crucial. Since you're starting with so little chips relative to the blinds, Picking your moments is of the utmost. Remember, big pots with big hands, small pots with small hands.
Picking up on tells will be big. Look for shaking hands, pulsing neck, nervous lookaway, chipglance, weak leads, reaching for chips, reaching to fold.
Advertising will work against good players. Fake a chipglance, when bluffing, fake a chipreach. Watch to see if they are studying you. Fake a pre-muck and raise. DON'T BLUFF AT BAD PLAYERS. Beware a good player calling your raise. Bluff at good players on scary boards. Check-raise more when strong. Choose a time to leave... either +/- $ amount or a certain number of hours. Get up when steaming!

Good luck. (Except for Chad)

Friday, February 23, 2007


My online poker pimp hand has been pretty strong lately. I've been dominating the sit-n-goes. That is: dominating the "chump-change" tables. Since much of my Neteller bankroll had been withdrawn to pay some bills (before the shutdown) and the rest is currently in limbo, I only had $100 or so in my FullTilt account to play with. In the last couple weeks, I more than quadrupled it. May not seem like much, but my roll languishing between $80 and $200 for the last 3-4 months. I'd been either playing badly or running bad, but I was not winning much (but not losing much either). Then the other day, I had a poker revelation. When I first started playing, I was unafraid to push my stack when I thought my opponent was weak. Overbetting the pot was a useful tool in no-limit, and I had all but eliminated it from my arsenal. The convention of making pot-sized bets cramped my style. I was also playing too passively with mediocre hands. I should be either raising or folding them. Instead I was making weak calls with weak draws and weak pairs. In other words, SUCKING (not sucking-out mind you).
So I have been check-raising more, calling less, and adding a couple select hands to my pre-flop strategy. And of course playing position better. The end result is a fattening roll which will continue to fatten hopefully.
I do need to keep up the vigilance, because I'm aiming to move up in limits. Previous efforts to move up had led my bankroll to be as small as it was.
I'm itching for some more live poker though. Bay 101 and Garden City are freaking madhouses in the afternoons, with wait lists exceeding an hour every day. I just don't have enough time to sit there waiting for a seat to open up. But as I can tell, the fish are LIVE! So it might just be worth it. I've heard 7am Sunday morning is a good time to get there to play against the sleep-deprived players. I might have to try that this weekend.

My home game has been fun, but it needs a serious infusion of new blood. We've pretty much been breaking even every week after many hours of play. With no clear winner, (except Chad "RainMan" ) who catches gutshots like Odog catches tennis balls) the game just doesn't get the blood going like it used to. Plus, we are all a bit sick of RainMan's suck-outs.

Let me know if any of y'all are interested in playing. We could use some fresh-meat,... er,... new players.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Mookie

I''ve made the final table of "The Mookie : Storm the Peak" blogger tournament on Full Tilt.
I've been getting lucky. Once when my JJ made a flush against KK. and another time when my A6 call on a shortstacked KK flopped big for me.

Just sucked out on another one: AJ vs AK. Sorry fella. Again.

* - Got cold decked in the final 3. Pushed all-in with K4. Maudie held 66. Her pair held up.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I've been obsessed lately with tattoos. Being an artist, naturally having some on my body seems normal. I'm not sure if it was fear of pain or of having a shitty piece on me, but I never got around to getting one. At one point, I guess I was proud to not have a barbwire or tribal armband, or a huge indian head on my shoulder. I'm certainly glad to not have any stupid mistakes permanently on my body (other than the scars from a clumsy youth.)
For the past year or so, I have been positive that I want one.
I've done a shitpile of research. I've perused thousands of images of tattoos, read every article I can find, every blog, every tattoo related forum and even watched some tattoo reality programs.
All this has fueled the fire. Seeing the work of undeniably talented artists has reinvigorated my artistic inspiration as well. The work of Guy Aitchison, Adrian Lee, Grime, Paul Booth is awe inspiring.
Ultimately, I will get a tattoo. This year will be one of big change for me and having myselfe inked for the first time will mark the occasion. So far I've visited many artists locally, and making the decision on who will be the artist is tough. The San Francisco bay area is a mecca for tattoo art and is the home to many world-class artists. Really, I am incredibly lucky to have my choice of artists.

So far I've met several artists about my concepts and have thus placed myself on the wait list for two artists. Jason Grace at Idle Hand SF and Adrian Lee at NewSkool. So far I've not received word from Adrian Lee, even though I should've been called by now. I expect to be contacted about a consult with Jason Grace within a month or two. Either way, I'm sure the work will be sick. Hopefully soon.

Here are some of the links I check out frequently:
Ink Trails
Allen Tattoo
Life Under Zen
Tattoo Blog
Inked Nation

Friday, February 09, 2007

War Books

I've been on a reading tear. Which is unusual for me. For some reason, while it may take me months to finish a fictional novel, war related non-fiction has my undivided attention. I read four very entertaining books lately all related to the topic of war. If war is at all interesting to you. Check these out.

License to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror by Robert Young Pelton
Robert Young Pelton is a badass. A civilian badass. But a badass nonetheless. He's travelled the world looking for danger, from Africa to Afghanistan, Pelton seeks out killers, mercenaries, and warlords to tell the story of people paid for their killing skills. License to Kill explores the secret society of security contractors. Where do they come from, why are they needed, what is their purpose? Do they help us, or are they a liability in the war on terror. Pelton travels with these hired guns in the world's most dangerous places to illustrate their lives and why they are necessary in modern war.

Hunting the Jackal: A Special Forces and CIA Soldier's Fifty Years on the Frontlines of the war Against Terrorism by Billy Waugh and some other dude.
Billy Waugh lives for war. From the jungles of Vietnam to the search for Bin Laden in the mountains of Afghanistan, Billy Waugh's life has been one adventure after another. His superior killing expertise, has made him the go-to guy when it comes to difficult, death defying missions. This book is brutal, captivating and would be unbelievable if it weren't completely true.

Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides
Ghost Soldiers chronicles the rescue of some of the survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. Nearing the end of the war against the Japanese, the allied POWs in the Phillipines experienced some of the most atrocious of atrocities. A team led by some of America's bravest, moved through enemy lines to save these ill-treated prisoners. Hampton Sides writes of the terror of being a POW in the hands of the brutal japanese. He holds no punches when describing some of the horrible living conditions these men endured. Ultimately, the brave actions of a few Amercians and Filipinos, led to the rescue of 500 horribly deprived men.
This book tells about heroic men doing something beyond themselves in order to save the lives of others. Well written and completely engrossing.

The Last True Story I'll Every Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq by John Crawford
is the story of one man's war in Iraq. It's a candid story. A year-in-the-life. And a gritty, compelling read. This book illustrates the mundane days of soldiers, which are punctuated by moments of blood soaked violence. While it shows the comradarie of brothers in arms, It also tells the sad story of how war effects them.