Late Weekly Recap - Money Finishes All Around!  

Posted by Alex Laforest in ,

I started the week with a single money finish in a bout 10 freerolls so far. But Monday came in and found me in a very positive mindset, as I had had a decent weekend.

First, the second money finish of my railbird carreer: an 80th place out of 1299 in a Limit Hold'em Railbirds freeroll Wednesday night. And I must confess having been this close not to play the damn thing; I registered early and went to eat. After my meal, the exhaustion of a very rough week so far hit me like a jakhammer and I elected to watch tv before the tourney to relax. When I realized I was almost falling asleep, I kinda decided to unregister and call it an early nite. Looking at the time while moving sluggishly towards my desk, it's 8:57... No check that, 58... By the time I sit at my computer, the unregister button has vanished into oblivion. I decide for a quick maniacal exit; I'll effectively play 80% of the hands. Then, folding my first hand (lmao), I load; it's a Limit tourney. Oh well, who said Limit can't create quick exits???

The Third Money Finish
54/1065 in a PLO on FullTilt. Oh yes baby, I made the money in an Omaha Hi event!!! Quite satisfying to figure I can play that game almost as well as Hold'em :)!!!

The Fourth Money Finish
118/1641 NLHE on FT. For that one, I think I remember vaguely an interesting hand, where, roughly, I woke up with AK offsuit from Late Position, and ended up making the right move by calling a short stack shove which had gotten called by an even shorter stack; 3-handed against any random 2 hands, AK offsuit is still a very nice favorite (about 48% against 26/26) has it hit me when I was in the tank :P.


All in all, I think I might getting myself to become a somewhat promising all-around player... Trying to keep my head clear, straight and up lol.

Later (Monday, Aug. 27th, 12h12 am)
Well, it seems I was quite right about that feeling of me being more and more an all-around player; I just busted out in 58th (out of 1299) of the Railbirds H.O.R.S.E. freeroll, playing the whole rotation pretty well actually. Stud kinda made suddenly a lot of sense ;-)!


Second Money Finish!!  

Posted by Alex Laforest in , ,

Woot!!! Quick post to mention my second money finish in a Railbirds Freeroll. On Stars again :( ; can't wait to get a bankroll on FullTilt and start playing some Razz lol!

Anyhow, I finished 80th out of 1299 in Limit Hold'em RB freeroll. 1st limit experience ever, not counting the HORSE event of a couple of weeks back :D !!! I found something rather interesting in Limit poker, something I'm afraid I cannot quite put the finger on right now but, all in all, it reminded me of one of my buddy ncaron's comments: he onced said he had the feeling I might have a knack for limit play, mostly because I'm grossly tighter than him. Will keep you posted, off course ;-).


Three-way All-in  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Quick note on a rare occurence: me busting out with the goods :p!!! Still, busting out on a 3 way all-in so near the money (211 out 1464) is kinda painfull :).
Roughly, blinds are 300/600 with a 50 ante in a NLHE freeroll. All the money goes in pre-flop, after something like:I min-raise from seat 8, button min-raise, SB calls all-in and I push, trying to isolate the button, a maniac who has already hit with unmentionable hands (such as 5-2 not from the blinds lol); I figure he might call since he's covering me 2 to 1 but I'm sure my AK off is good enough. He calls. We flip:

villain1 - Button = KhQc
Villain2 - SB = AhKs
Me = AhKc

Guess who hits the flop?? That's right! The maniac hits one of his 3 outs: QhTs6h... fsck! lol Turn and river are rags and I hit the rails... With the feeling of having done the right thing nonetheless ;-).


Weekly Recap: Bad Beats With A Smile  

Posted by Alex Laforest in ,

"Death is the road to awe."
What a crazy week poker wise this has been!!!! It all started with Monday's HORSE freeroll on Stars, which was a blast, no doubt. I kinda sucked and spewed many chips during the Hold'em and Omaha8 levels :p, but managed to get right back to par with the Razz level :D!!! Razz for the win!!!!! lol

And then came the Stud level and this first in a triad of sick hands to come over the week :).

Unbelievable Hand #1 - Stud 60/120

I wake up with 6d6c in the hole and 9d showing with 2 villains with 3h and Kh up completing the small bet with me. Fourth street brings my set of sixes while a villain pairs his King, and Third Wheel hits an Ac. Cowboy Villain bets 120 and we both call. Fifth street brings me the 5d, Cowboy the 7s and Third Wheel the 8h. Seemingly blanks and I figure I'm in the lead and need to build some competing stack so I raise, get re-raised by Cowboy and have a sudden sick feeling in my gut but call nevertheless. Third Wheel follows, amazingly. Sixth street brings me the 8s increasing my outs, while Cowboy gets the Qs and Third Wheels sees the 4h added to his hand. Cowboy bets, we both call. And then to the river, the 9c in my case, giving me a wonderful boat, Sixes full of Nines. Cowboy opens, I raise, Third Wheel calls, Cowboy re-raises and I re-re-raise, capping while muttering "this suddenly smells bad...". Third Wheel folds and Cowboys shows the Ks and the 7h, for a bigger boat than me - Kings full of Sevens. The next hand I hit the rails and wonder what happened.

Writing this, I realized I played the hand like the Stud newbie that I actually am, and understand this is probably why I didn't whine about it being a real bad beat, rather labeling it a "sick hand". I still took it with smile!


On to Tuesday and my weekly home game (with our very own newly pink Railbirds ncaron - lol). All in all, it took me about 25 hands to win a darn pot, I ended up felted - twice as a matter of fact and saw one of the craziest hand I have ever saw live :p. Hand that actually killed the comeback I was desperately but effectively mounting ;).

As the evening was winding down, I figured I'd have to be very - very - aggressive to cut my losses. And, I immediately made peace with the money I was about to lose if I didn't unstuck myself. 10 bucks doesn't buy much in life, but that's the beauty of microstakes poker in my humble opinion; this lousy 10 bucks does buy LOADS of fun :D! Anyway, the home game. At that moment, I decided to shove in the dark every hand the very next hand, which I did with what happened to be 8-7 off and rivered a straight, felting our very own ncaron (I had to tell dude ;) ). The following hand, same scenario, except that I peaked out of habit. And then comes the 3rd shoved in a row...

Unbelievable Hand #2 - The One That Should Never Have Been

No Limit 0.01/0.02 Hold'em - 3-handed. On the big blind (with 2 all-ins in the 2 previous hands), UTG limps, Small Blind makes 0.25 to go and I peak. Rockets!!! No shit. I go "all-in" in a jiffy, with the typical Caro's Law of Tells "Weak Means Strong" shoulder shrug tell. lol. Small blind moans a "Aaah man...", thinks for a while and calls. I burst out "Third in a row and my only legit of the nite!!! My very first Rockets in this home game, by the way!!!" and flip my beautiful Aces. Small Blind lets out some sound of desperation while showing Ac9h. Talk about domination!!! Now, I do not have the courage and willpower to paste the odds again, but know that the outcome was a little better than a 100 to 1 shot :p! The flop came Q-J-T rainbow, giving him some hope for even a win. Then, the turn brought a blank - like the 2d - but the river spiked... that's right... a lousy King for a split pot... Which happens 1.37% of the time when Aces are against A-9 offsuit and the money is in pre-flop. Dividing the blinds, I did mutter some shocked cuss words off course, but with that laughter of amazed disbelief in my voice; like I've just witnessed something extraordinary rather than lived one of the worst bad beat of my life actually (not money wise off course, but odds wise).

Now this hand I played perfectly I think. I had gone all-in twice in a row just before this hand, so my shoving had real good odds of getting a caller while I had the VERY FREAKING BEST STARTING HOLD'EM HAND!!!! lol


On to my last crazy hand of the week, which happened yesterday evening. After the evening's Railbirds freeroll (in which I didn't fare that well, by the way; 518th out 1000ish :(. Still managed to top our very own ncaron!!! /brag lol), I sat at a 0.05/0.10 NLHE table on Stars and started of with my new resolution (see previous post). I grinded out that game for a while, raking a near 4-dollar profit, eyeballing the 5$ Real Money Rankings Railbird tourney, tempted to buy-in and send my recent resolution to hell, but finally resisted and focused and having a solid profitable cash game session instead.

Unbelievable Hand #3 - Wanting To Get Paid

I switch tables after a bathroom break and ten minutes later, I wake up with 7s5s and limp from the cutoff. The button folds, the small blind limps and the big blind checks. The flop comes 3c7h5d and it's checked around to me. I stop myself from pushing all-in, remind myself of the straight and bet 0.25$. They both call. Turn is the 5c and I wanna dance while glancing at the clock, realizing the Real Money Rankings tourney is now well on its way and thus the current big pot I am about to rake will not get me into it. Big blind min bets and I raise it to 1 buck, again wanting to just shove it and hope for a call. Small blind does call, Big blind folds. The river peels the Tc and Small blind opens for the first time with a 1.80$ bet, about 2/5 of his stack. I think a little, only seeing pockets 77s to beat my boat while I type 5$ in the betting box, putting him all-in. And when I click "Raise 5$", he insta-calls and my mind flashes the "only other hand beating me", a mere half second before they're flipped: T-5 for another bigger boat than mine :(! Looking at my screen with this dislocated-jaw-awed look on my face, the chat box pops sympathetically "Ouch, that hurts. nh" from my opponent. To which I answer, my jaw awakening to form this o so peculiar smile poker taught me to now love: "Indeed... Well played sir!", and gets a very courteous "ty". Now if that's not sportsmanship, I don't know what is... lol Of course, one could argue that poker is not a sport but you get the idea lol.

And of course, 15 minutes later, some other guy goes broke on a very iffy play and starts yapping, complaining and, worse of all, insulting players as an observer. I admit I scrolled back up to make sure I hadn't dreamt my polite exchange with my very own "bad beater".


I also understood another interesting fact about that whole courteous smiling behavior towards not only the game itself but also, and perhaps more importantly, bad beats. I have been pissed off after bad beats, no surprises there. But I almost never could bounce back and unstuck myself when in this state of mind. Not tilting, not even steaming. Just not letting go, actually. On the contrary, after yesterday's boat over boat incident, instead of raving about the hand, I just thought about how I could have played differently and if I was satisfy with the way I played it and so on. Just like any other hand actually. And I found myself very well disposed to grind back my losses, knowing for a fact I could do it and thus, let go of the hand. This does not mean I FORGOT about it; wouldn't be writing about it if I did now would I :p? Anyway, I ended up in a better mood, having the fun I want to have when I play poker, and cut my losses by 2/3 by the end of the nite :D.

All in all, I did relive these hands, dreamt about them and thought back on them during the course of the week - what player doesn't think back on hands he's seen, right? But the funny thing that still gets me scratching my head is how I actually took them: with that broad wowed astonished smile. And those who know me know that I am a sore loser and hate Lady Luck with a vengeance (all the chess I played I played because I had boycotted her :p and she was never part of that game lol). But, well, I just seem to behave like a gent around a poker game. Though I must confess a certain tendency towards babbling about everything, and that sometimes slips into something about the hand, which is wrong and I regret instantly. I monitor myself, though, and I think this leak will be shortly fixed; I do not want to be discourteous around poker. Period.
As for bad beats, well, I simply wonder in amazement and awe at the incredible outcome. Mind you, I might first burst out and curse and yell for a while (alone in my office if online, or in my head if live). I am human after all, but I swore myself never to be discourteous or mean or bitchy or whiny about poker. Poker is a mean but wonderful mistress that you actually tap with other people. And in any cases, these bad beats are, at the end of the day, such amazing statistical phenomena that I cannot help but smile in awe before them...

P.S.: For those who may wonder, the quote "Death is the road to awe" was taken from The Fountain, a 2006 movie by Darren Aronofsky.


The New Me  

Posted by Alex Laforest

In light of certain factors, I have come to terms with the necessary resolution :): I will no longer play any online tournament with buy-in (live tourneys still allowed simply because they're so exhilarating and way easier to find than live cash games) until I double up my current bankroll. A couple of decisive factors kinda shove the idea down my throat:

  • I would have doubled up my bankroll if I'd only played cash games.
  • My overall tourney's ROI % is negative.
  • The results of an informal poll about what game - cash or tourney - people are best at.
  • A HORSE Railbirds freeroll where I discovered a liking for RAZZ, and the sudden desire to play cash game RAZZ, which requires my bankroll to be at the very least twice what it is now.

Thus, I will stick to Railbirds freerolls and concentrate on cash games when I put money in play :) for a month or two and review the results then.


Homegame All-in Frenzy  

Posted by Alex Laforest in , ,

Oh well, I went broke for only the second time in our weekly homegame!!! How you may wonder... Well, I just overplayed AK to get it to showdown against a made pair held by the uber aggressive newcomer (to whom I had just promise to bring one of my next 4 hands to the showdown - hey, it's a microstakes homegame; we are supposed to goof around lol!). And, a couple of hands later, I hit top pair with a QT off and had him in the ropes but he spiked a Broadway on the river and I was now left with about 20% of my buy-in.

Tightening up, I folded pre-flop twice in a row for the first time that night, and woke up on the SB with pocket snowmen. UTG makes it 3xBB, dealer (uber aggressive newbie) folds. I don't think twice and shove with a "I guess I'll rebuy". BB folds after a little thinking. UTG quickly calls and laughs in front of my snowmen while flipping rockets. I do not suck this one out... And ended up rebuying for the first time... :P

The night winded down and I kinda didn't get any chances to unstuck myself,. spewing my chips in a vain attempt to loosen up. Then, I was allowed to see a free flop with my monstruous T6 off and hit top pair. Button bets about half the pot, and I shoved again, a little more than a buck. Button goes in the tank and finally calls flipping over T3 of heart with two hearts on the board. Whoa... A race. Which I win... Which was like my second pot won for the whole nite :P!

Now sitting on about 2 bucks and change, it was decided we'd play 2 more orbits and call it a nite. Right there and then is when I figured I'd either lose my whole 5$ buy-in, or walk away from the game with a profit. Which meant trying to double-up. So, next hand, on the BB, I shoved over the top of the UTG 3xBB bet in the dark and got called. Not looking at my hole cards for the whole deal was pretty fun :). Especially since I rivered the winning straight, beating my buddy's top pair. For the record, I ended up flipping 87 off while my opponent turned T6 off :P! The sad part is that I busted my buddy, which was not supposed to be :D!

Off to the next hand and my unwavering resolution to shove against any raise and do it in the dark. On SB, the button makes it 0.25$ to go, and, well I shove. But looked at a lousy J2 off before and cursed myself for having looked. Button folds. Now I won back enough to pay back my second buy-in while sitting with about 2 bucks afterwards. I do. And lo and behold, wake up with American Airlines the very next hand!!!! On the button, even!! And I do get a raiser before I have to act. I utter the words “all-in” and instantly ear UTG guy going “ah man!”. Still, he finally calls, and I go: “This is my first legit all-in of the 4 I did already :P” while turning my rockets face up. The table goes “Oh!” while my villain shows A9 off, with his 9’s suit matching one of my aces. Domination if there ever was right. Don’t believe me? Take a look at these odds:

Pocket Aces is...

At the flop:
Winning 99.23% of the time
Tied 0% of the time
Losing 0.77% of the time
At the Turn:
Winning 97.36% of the time
Tied 0.26% of the time
Losing 2.38% of the time
At the River:
Winning 92.94% of the time(14.71% with trips or better)
Tied 1.37% of the time
Losing 5.69% of the time(1.85% with trips or better)

And guess what the board ended up looking like?!??! Off course: QJT 2 K, for a Broadway for both of us and the ever elusive split pot (at the river, odds of splitting were 1.37%… SICK!!!!!).

That kinda chop my wind so to speak and I ended up gambling both the next hands and finally went busted.

All in all, an all-in frenzy, including in the dark shove equals loads of fun for a very cheap value. And now I know I cannot really hope for luck to be on my side in poker.


New Railbirds Freeroll Mantra
Or, live notes from BubbleB0y!

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Quick notes during first break of this Sunday's PokerStars freeroll. I made it to the break with a slightly more than average stack, and am thinking this should be my special pre-Railbirds freeroll mantra: "Make it to the breaks with an average stack". lol.

Now, just keep your head clean.... Here we go...:eek: lol

Ok.. Just doubled-up to a very decent 18k with snowmen and a board of 3-3-5 on which I moved all-in. All that after waiting, prowling in a corner with half the average stack. Now, I wanna get into the money!!!

5 players to go before the bubble bursts and your very own BubbleB0y is sitting on a nice, slightly bigger than average stack... Very tight everywhere suddenly... Like some deserted far-west town lol

3 to go...

Hand-to-hand play... The short-stack, with not even a big blind, asks why is every hand taking so long...

IN THE MONEY!!! Woot!!! Feels good, not for the 20 cents, not by far :P! Rather for the mere fact that i have been doubting myself a tad this week-end :P.

Second break with a bit bigger than average stack :). Now, I'm on a doubling-up quest if I want to make some real money :P

Oh well, it's over!! lol! 121th out of 1435 is pretty darn good and after the second break, I had set myself to be really aggressive, on a chase for any doubling-up opportunity because the new objective was 1st place (or at least a final table), and did just that on the 3rd hand iirc :P. Woke up with A♣4♣: and flat called the 1200 blind figuring I'd test whether the table had tightened up or not. BB raised to 8200 and I went in the very quick tank, the one you should avoid imho :D, and shoved thinking he might be trying to steal mine and the button's limps, who folded. He did think for a while, about folding I hope, but finally called, covering me about 2 to one and must have figured I wanted to bully the table or get into a race with a short stack and flipped A♦K♣.D'oh! Bald and somewhat clumsy - perhaps lousy - move, especially since it was against the table's chip leader, but I definitely prefer the feeling of a good gamble than of blinding myself out of a tourney :), which I do O so often :p.

Now, to a short movie break and some long overdue cleaning (thanks to Railbird's freeroll and my legendary laziness - hey, who in its right minf would take cleaning over poker, right?)! And then, FullTilt's freeroll :D lol !!


Second RB's Tourney Results - Objective's Reached  

Posted by Alex Laforest in , ,

Did my first Real Money Ranking tourney yesterday - which is a fancy way of saying there's a buy-in but the tourney is private and counts in a ranking. I also figured it to be the way Poker Stars and FullTilt Poker make their money with us railbirds.

Finished 30th out of 196, which is pretty good and is way above the 50%-of-the-field mark I had set for myself :). Objective reached! But I think it might be just shy of the 15% mark and thus shy of getting me any points in the above mentioned ranking, right?? Anyhow, very interesting to be in a decent size tourney with only 196 players :).

Caliber seemed a little better to me. In my case, I played some decent smaller ball even and found out I might not be cut out for the swings lol!! Not in cash games that's for sure...

On the P.S. side: I did see something quite weird, which, weren't I indulging myself in a near blind faith in random algorithms, could make me lean towards the "Poker Stars is rigged" perspective. Long story short, I'm in seat 1 and the guy right to me, in seat 9, catches pocket rockets twice in row, showing them both times when getting no action at all for his raises (actually, he caught them on his blinds, and ended up raking the small blind the second time). The funny thing is I caught the rockets right after and, when the first card of my following hand was an ace again, I started to think it was some kind of rotational glitch or something lol. Off course, my next card was a lousy 4 and everything went back to normal lol!


First Railbirds Freeroll  

Posted by Alex Laforest in , ,

My good and so far only poker buddy Nic found out about and their invite-based private freerolls, and we both registered and started goofing around on the site to get invites. We got two, one in the afternoon, impossible to attend for this working class hero and the other for Friday nite. Waiting for the tourney to start, I found the dedicated forum and read the single post there; some guy was complaining that his last 2 endeavors with railbirds freeroll had been disastrous, stuck that he was with degenerate 10 year old junkies, as he so eloquently put it. Restraining myself from 2 very opposite replies (either: "what do you expect with a freeroll?" or "I'm about to do my first and you're kinda worrying me..."), I played lousily a NL10 cash game to pass time.

Well, my first impressions are good; no more degeneracy than my usual micro-stakes, a somewhat better than your average PokerStars freeroll caliber with such a smaller field. Off course, 1400ish players for 200 bucks is not that juicy but it allows, amongst other things, to try new or different stuff, which is always great in a learning process. In my case, I was trying some real small ball, around 80% of the pot, but could barely managed to play around half my hands; I definitely developed some patterns that I must fix :-).

Anyhow, couldn't crack the 50%-of-the-field mark; 770th out of 1 428, but yesterday was, in the end, a shitty poker evening :)! Thus, I'll try this again for sure :D!


When Gambling Becomes Boozing  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Quick post about this week's homegame, which was supposed to be a freeze-out HOR heads-up between Nic and I. Hey, it's a homegame, so let's goof around, right!!! Well, right in a fscking manner: ended drunk under the table before 8 o'clock. You read correctly. And also assumed rightfully that my Wednesday was simply Hell on Earth. Didn't even play a single hand I was so hungover lol. Hence, the morals: booze and poker are fun together, but one can easily take over the other and then you are in for one hell of a ride.

Thank God in my case Tuesday nite, we simply stopped playing... The sole hand we played (about 2 whole hours after I had realized how drunk I was) I had to fight like a mad man the reflex to move all-in. Off course, on other occasions, boozing gave me the perfect amount of confidence and carelessness which hijacked all my inhibited counter-pokerwise-effecient behaviors... So I guess the real morals is finding the "right amount" of booze lol.


The Streak  

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Dude, I'm on fscking fire!
Well, afraid I might have been since I busted another bubble two days ago, when I first start realizing The Streak, and finished 5th late yesterday evening. Talk about Murphy...

Still, I feel my SitnGo game finally showing promise, as I have, at long last, managed to bring my ROI% above zero!!! Woohoo!! Currently standing at 5.98%!! Granted, I am only talking about my 1$ SitnGo stats (nevertheless standing for 67% of all my tourneys), but still, it's a definite good sign, which is encouraging; I'm might not be blowing my cash game earnings on tournament poker for nothing, after all, lol!

Now, while I haven't been playing loads of cash game poker lately. Roughly a mere 270-something hands in the last month, plus maybe 75 hands for our weeklyish home game; let's say 350 hands... Nothing to call home about! And, come to think of it, most assuredly the sole reason I feel stuck at the stakes I've been playing for a while now. No wonder...

Albeit, I truly believe cash game to be the real absolute true nature of the game (sometimes, I am a purist that way), especially no limit off course, since faiths can swing like the proverbial pendulum. Still, even a limit cash game can felt a player enough to get him hitchhiking his way home, if it's still his. And although I seem to be having my share of a somewhat natural hang of it (overstatement here - yet, my puny 4 000ish cash game hands wielding 50ish bucks profit at micro stakes kinda speaks for itself, I think. Does not mean I'd fare as well at higher stakes, though; not at all!), there is a profound, unmistakable and probably unshakable feeling of security in playing a tourney. Be it humongous fields or simple heads-up matches, one always has the absolute unquestionable certainty that the most money one can lose, in the worst case scenario, is one's buy-in. Very very limited risks involved. Which probably explains a lot of the goofing around you find in the early stages. Limited in the return on investment as well, mind you, but the "pot odds" are always remarkably enough; just think of Moneymaker's 39$ to win WSOP's Main Event and 2.5 millions! These kinda odds always make gamblers drool; well, they do get me drooling lol.

Anyhow, a word on the streak. I probably have jinxed it already by talking and writing about it; I'm 0 for 2 actually since I first took notes for this post (though I believe superstitions to be unlucky ;-)... Little gambler classic joke here :P). Nevertheless, I did go 8 money finishes in a row in 1$ SitnGos. Always nice to feel in control. I remember great plays and especially very good contextual decisions, stupid moves which cost me but keeping my composure afterwards, well-timed suckouts, and, all in all, a general feel of purpose and confidence. Which is exactly what I need to focus on now that I can admit it's gone and feel the fear of the cash game creeping back, mostly for too much play in this safest of poker environment... That's a lousy pernicious side effect of playing lots of tourneys; the Fear of the no-limit cash game!!! Yup, this is probably gonna make its way into the Poker and Self-Enlightenment series, if it ever is... In the meantime, time to go check if I can start myself a brand new streak :P...



Posted by Alex Laforest

Now that's so sweet I have to mention it.

I get home from work, sit down at my desk and fiddle around registering into a SitnGo... I ponder this for a short while, keeping saying to myself I must and should play some cash games to increase my bankroll. I end up figuring I'll play a couple of NL10 (0.05/0.10, that is) cash game while figuring if I'm in a tourney mood. Sure, this could end up being costly...

I find myself a table, take the last seat available, on the wrong side of the button and elect to wait for the BB. The wait, as usual, is hardly bearable and ends up with me browsing aimlessly the internet. Finally, I get to post and wake up with a lousy 7h6d. Action is folded around to the button, who limps from a decent 7$ish stack. So does the SB, with 17 bucks in front of... it!?!? I check my BB, off course. Flop comes 6c 7s 6s. Now I have hit he absolute nuts, the monster of monsters, and unless someone manages to connect with this to make a straight flush (which will happen I don't know, what, once in a lifetime?!?!?!), I am the king of this hand. And will probably end up buying the pot right now since no one showed any strength pre-flop. SB checks, no surprise, so do I, figuring my only chance to make some money here is to have someone do the betting for me. And then, it starts to happen; I have to restrain myself from bursting into a celebratory dance when the button bets the pot!!! The SB folds like there's no tomorrow and I'm once again restraining myself, from overbetting this sucker now; this is most probably his shot at the pot. Tempted to flat cal, I min-raise. Lousy trap, true, but remember I'm playing NL10 here! Button, oblivious, calls. Turn comes Js, and a "chiching" resounds in my head. Hoping the button made a flush, I open with a third of the pot, which is called. Ok, now I'm hoping he's got a lousy flush at least, cause I can help myself anymore; I'm the nuts!! As soon as the Qd hits the virtual felt, I push. He calls!!! I can't believe it, especially when he shows 8s 3s for a J8-high flush. True, until the river, it didn't cost him much, but I think I would have smelled something cooking when a BB shoves in front of me and all I have is a low flush.

Anyhow, I raked in a 16,85$ pot - one of my biggest ever :P, and started considering this hand to become my favorite trash hand; you know, the usual Big Lick but with an history instead of just a cool name... I got it again during that same session and played it, off course, cheaply though; didn't hit the flop and bailed. Then, I finally made up my mind and registered to a SitnGo. Got it again early (7d 6h this time), on the SB. Ended up sucking out on an Ac 6d when the board flushed both of us, me having the better hand with a 7-high flush :). One more point for the trashy 67 off!!

Now, writing this, I flip through my Poker Tracker stats and realize this is still a losing hand for me. Oh well; let's say it's currently the first and only contender to the title of My Favorite Trash Hand.

As a closing note, this now famous (for me) 6-7 offsuit is also poetically known as the Philadelphia, Union Oil, Trombones. For more of these incredibly creative and yet still stupid names, I would suggest here, since the fellas at Wikipedia kinda made it hard to find them lately. This page is the closest I could quickly find ;-).


Fscking the Bushes  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Dude, I'm on a fscking rush though!

8 in a row. 8 money finish in Sit'nGos in a row. Feels awesome. And for the record, this is the sole reason I took another shot at the next Sit'nGo level :P (cf post Taking A Shot)! Now, I think I'll go goof around in a 5-card draw or a triple low ball thingy... Yeah, I hear you Little-Cynical-Bastard-Devil; just to fsck with my great mood and super streak :P!

Later: did a 5-card draw 6-handed Sit'nGo to fsck around my streak. Finished 5th after a decent start; God I have no fscking clue what to draw to!!!!


Taking a Shot  

Posted by Alex Laforest

I seem to remember quite acutely Jen Harman in Beyond the Felt talking about her numerous first tries at the Big Game. Painful is the word that comes to mind. She was explaining how she'd build the proper bankroll, get herself excited and prepared to enter the Big Game, go in, get broke, go back down the mid-stakes games, build up again... And so on, for a couple of years before she actually managed to STAY in the game once and for all...

I know I read Phil Gordon's basic bankroll management rules and I am deeply convinced I remember even Doyle tapping the concept. And if you've read this blog, I have learned also about a proper tight aggressive bankroll management from an old-timer with odd views on gambling :P... All and all, I do know when I could be climbing up the stakes ladder... But, hey, I'm turning into a poker player, right? And say poker player means gambling... Gambling means, litteraly "the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning", with the operative word being, to me, "hope of". Thus, every now and then, some poker enthusiast with decent game and money knowledge takes a shot at something bigger... The reasons are wide, numerous and often hilariously ridiculous for a player to forget these rules of thumb.

Well, it turns out I'm exactly like every other poor schmock taking stupid shots at higher stakes than they can play/afford... Not saying Jen Harman is a poor stupid schmock here; I am sure she took decent legit shots almost every single time. lol. Anyway, I did take a shot at a 5$ Sit'nGo when I realized I finally brought my ROI% in the positive column :P... Off course, I failed miserably, finishing 6th of 9; mostly because I couldn't get the comfortable feeling of playing MY game.


"Polaris Is Sick"  

Posted by Alex Laforest

"Laak and Eslami's win added extra drama to the final session Tuesday evening, as its outcome would now determine the overall winner. After a dinner break and a prematch strategy session, the players returned to battle Polaris one last time. "This is so intense," said Laak. "I've never had a huddle session before a poker match before."

Aaaaaaah Unabomber... Priceless Unabomber wisdom here...

I don't think I would have wrote anything on this wannabe-DeepBlue publicity stunt (which I would have followed nevertheless; peeps at U of A are doing so much for Game Theory at large, and Poker Theory more precisely) hadn't it been for these Laak's comments. As a matter of fact, this little informal piece was started on July 25th if I recall correctly and I just remembered it while cleaning up my PCs' cracks... lol!

All in all, it must have been very entertaining to see/hear Laak's table antics against a giant computer :P... Yet I find myself puzzled by 2 things:
  1. What the hell does "Polaris playing poker" looks like? I remember with acute details the scene from Kasparov versus Deep Blue/Thought, and my guess is that it's some analog method (ie, a given tech dude is in front of the master and receives the moves the computer decides on and plays them... A "thinking machine's peon" actually lol... Gottta love that idea, don't you?)... Which brings DA question :P...
  2. Is Laak doing the Unabomber bid when in a big pot against a PC??? rofl... Imagine Laak going "Raise. [Pause about a minute] 57 450$!" And then pulling down the sunglasses, the hoodie, tightening the laces and putting his hands on his ears while leaning down on the table in front of a workstation?!?!??!?! Laughing My Ass Off!!!!



And now for something...

... completely different...

For all the media and art buffs out there, here's what I'm tripping on lately, besides poker... Comments and/or suggestions welcomed ;-).

  • Alias (Bendis!) (Graphic Novel)

  • Last Worthy Movie
    Milk (Gus Van Sant)

    And while we're at it, other personal stuff includes (contains French ramblings :P):
  • My Trials With Photography
  • Mise en Abyme (Movie Blog)