Here We Go Again...  

Posted by Alex Laforest

It's the WSOP yet again!!! And I am not there again :P...

In any case, here comes about 2 months of feverish refreshing for live updates about... yes poker, baby! Everytime I think about it I lol; if anybody would have walked up to me in the pubs I used to hang when in college during my Film Studies major I would have laugh pedantically for like 73 hours str8... And now, I even spell "straight" str8... LOL, life IS a funny endeavour...

One of the many places to get constant updates: 2008 WSOP Live Updates.

Oh, and on the degenerate gambler side of things: first prop bet of this year's Series: Nic and I both have 2 players and whoever team cashes the most wins the bet.

Alex's team: Erik Seidel and Daniel Negreanu (woohoo I have the Cannuck :P)
Nic's team: Allen Cunningham and Phil Hellmuth Jr. (can I say ROFL?!?! Not because Phil's bad player, far from it (I mean, come on, can anyone seriously say that Hellmuth's a donk at tournament poker...), but mostly because we do love to hate the guy and now Nic can not really hate him for the next 2 months... I find it very, very satisfying :P).

Will post more prop bet as we make 'em, of course ;-).

Great Series everyone!!!!!


LOL, Someone Said Dead Even?!?!?  

Posted by Alex Laforest in

So I finally took my first shot at NL25 yesterday... Played a little more than 200 hands and... broke DEAD EVEN! And I really mean dead even... Funny.

After that, I still felt like playing but wanted to take it slow, since I was watching the game (finally a series... Talking Stanley Cup Finals here. Go Pens Go!!!! :P), so I decided to play a little Sit'n Go on Stars. Donkaments are getting my interest back these days, and I did registered into a SnG last week, busting out first :P!!! Been a while, crocodile, lol. Considering this result, and the fact that this last week Sit'n Go was the first tourney I played in months, I opted for the smallish, donkier, and all in all, easier 1$ SnG instead of the 5$ one for which I am now rolled. I think I demonstrated good skills, finishing 3rd while being mostly card dead as my right hand neighbor was red hot, getting rockets thrice that we know of :P. I had cowboys twice but didn't get much action :). The rest was mostly pure and simple power poker 101 :P...


Ok... Finally a First Shot At Next Level!!!  

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Woke up this morning with one ginormous migraine, so I called in sick, got back to bed, slept like a baby until like 3 pm and then, armed with a big, fresh pot of coffee, I managed to play a little over 200 hands on PartyPoker, the client being all messed up by the latest patch (basically, every opened seat is marked Reserved and cannot be sat in in any way, while the waiting list simply does not work... nice, huh?!? lol). I think the peeps over there might have been a little tilted by the software's problems, because I doubled-up twice very quickly. But then again, I do not usually play during daytime on weekdays :P. Anyway, when I opted for a shower break, my tables rapidly drying up, I was ahead about 2.25 buy-ins, knocking, yet again, at the NL25 door :D. After my break, I tried sitting back again somewhere on Party, but to no avail. I just read from a Party dude on 2+2 that they're finally working on it :)! Here for the whole thread.

Anyway, feeling so close again to moving up, after what, five, six times... I lost count :P... I remembered I thankfully never moved my whole BR to Party, and thus still have about a hundred on Stars! Woohoo! Went back to that old slipper that is Stars' client, and managed to grind my last half a buy-in to get a big enough bankroll to finally (/sigh) take my very first shot at NL25, after a very long, twisted, roller-coaster of a labor...

Now, let's hit those tables :)! Will, of course, post about it soon ;-).


Ah Crap!  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Ok, following my good poker buddy's lead, and considering I now feel some sort of civic responsability (;-)), so to speak, here's a quick post about that new Superuser Scandal that's been shocking the online poker universe these past days and weeks. I just figure it must be posted, read and seen by as many people as possible, and thus would benefit from being posted here as well as everywhere else it's been posted.

For the real deal, including links to in-depth investigations led by 2+2ers, click here.

Basically, a summary for those who will not click the above link:

It all started with an Absolute Poker executive getting caught using a superuser account left by dev teams and what not for testing/debugging purposes during development. The guy got nailed mostly by 2+2ers and they're very very thorough investigation of accounts that smelled like Denmark (see link above). Turned out it was in fact that exec guy who was using this superuser account to see everyone's hole cards... Talk about a fscking donk play!

Anyhow, a couple of days ago, a new bomb hit, and this time, Mister Phil "11 WSOP bracelets" Hellmuth, jr. himself is getting splashed by that one. (which is ironically enough owned by the same peeps as Absolute... Something definitely smells like Denmark over there... serioulsy!) just got pinned by another thorough investigation led by 2+2ers, and well, if you've been anywhere near the poker universe in the last 12 months or so, you definitely know of Hellmuth's relationship with UB. The guys now looks more than ever like a NASCAR racer, man :D!

Anyway, while this may seem very bad for online poker at first glance - something akin to the corrupted mobsters runnig Vegas back in the day - what I think people should focus on is the fact that, in the span of a couple of months, some major crook(s), all under pretty much the same roof, have been stopped by the people in their very community. There can be no better sign of an healthy community than a self-regulated community, in my humble opinion (no, the irony of this 'self-regulation' concept does not elude me; I know the mafia and its omerta works on the very same principle... That's another piece entirely, though :). The mere fact poker players themselves are credited for the bust, were smart enough, savvy enough, observing enough, and basically, honest enough to go after those corrupted individuals gets me thinking online poker should not be hindered too much by those scandals, nor should people be scared of gambling online. Might I conclude by reminding everyone that the poor schmocks that got hustled on Absolute Poker were all repaid in full... Dunno yet about the UB users though...

And remember, "if you are still quoting rounders, than you ARE the sucker!" :D!


Going (kinda) public...  

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Holy crap!!! This blog might actually get some traffic now :P... Woke up Friday morning, logged in ot my puter, checked my emails, and lo and behold, an email from some dude named Clayton asking to link my blog (yes this very same blog with about 3/4th of a reader for the past 15 months and more...) to a new web project called VerveEarth, which offers an innovative web browsing method. From the email I received:

VerveEarth is an entirely new way to surf the net. It shows spatial and geographic connections that a blog search engine could never reveal.

So, why not, right?! Even, and especially since it means I will have to be a little more active and responsible about my postings, I guess... Oh well, I was wondering whether I'd get out of the basement at some point; there's no time like the present, as they say ;-).


A Week & 2,500 Hands Later... hehe :P!  

Posted by Alex Laforest in

Ok. So I didn't quit... Yet... Simply couldn't set myself to giving it up just yet :). Took the week off, so to speak. Only played cards at the homegame and kept occupied with Y The Last Man, an awesome graphic novel some friends of mine had been raving about. And with movies, of course. The homegame was a +EV nite, but a very interesting hand arose in which I might have made a huge mistake recovered by a very tricky laydown. Mega-poker godlike irony, it all came down when I open-limped, which I might have done 0.012% of the time, with the jack-nine of spades. True, a live straddle was on, but it is still open-terry-fscking-foxing!!!

Anyways, I have played about 2500 hands last weekend and managed to get about three quarters of what I lost the previous weekend.

And two days later, I am back with my head above water, with a whooping 6+ over for May... Holy cow, nine days away from the end of the month and I'm in the positive!?!?!?! I didn't think it would take me so little time to wipe this unpleasant memory, but it seem it did... Still, I kept, learned, and will remember that rough weekend... Don't brag, don't be overconfident and/or overimpatient, don't grow bored; if you can't concentrate, do something else. If you can't lay a beaten hand down, dont' play. And so on and so forth :).

On a side note: I received my 5 2+2 books from my PartyPoker bonus only to find out the package was erroneous; instead of Harrington on Holdem Volume 1, I got Volume 3, which, ironically enough, I already own...

On one last side note, which is making me a very unhappy camper right now: it seems someone or something managed to deposit 298$ on some gambling site not yet known with my credit card. Me not likey... And of course, MasterCard can't do squat for now, cause I spotted the deed a tad too early; the transaction is not yet confirmed so it might simply be some billing error or something... So the peeps at MasterCard told me... :S.


Fsck that Shit  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Sixty bucks downswing ruining my weekend, fsck that fscking cruel mistress... I hate getting so rattled by those... I once thought I was such a cool and cold and aloof bastard in absolute control of his emotions, but that was completely delusional... and way back when... Back when. in the midst of my teens, I hadn't been faced yet with the ugliness of human emotions, mine especially...

Seriously thinking of quitting... For real... Man, I have been trying to beat NL-fscking-10 for a year now, for Christ's sake! Miserably failed 3 times now... And now, the worst downswing of my life (wow, the drama!!!! lol)... I'm getting sick of this; I think I could do much better, happier, more satisfying things with my o so short time here than spew in about a thousand hands the measly profits I make in tens of thousand of hands... Just don't really remember what though :S... Ironically enough, after spending most of my Sunday roaming the city and then my small apartment, I ended spewing and tilting again... I feel like a broken man... Which is pretty ludicrous, to be perfectly honest...

Here's the deal, Poker Gods (whatever): if May 2008 ends up a loosing month, it means I haven't gotten back to playing half-decent poker for sure... And, I quit. How about that?!?!?! This basically means I am finished though: currently down $45+ over a little more than 5k hands in May... Goddamn it!!! That's it, I feel heartbroken, heartsick... End of a love affair, I was the Dreamer, and all that crap... Fsck!

P.S.: By quitting, I don't mean never play ever again. Just mean, from now on, playing for fun, with friends, once in a while... And live.


This was written yesterday, after a donkey shove-call with KQ soooted against AKo on a rainbow K high flop (AK held by Shorty, who else... anywho, the operative words here are "donkey", and "shove-call"...). I have since then watched 2 flicks, one girly unmentionable one, the other being that Al Gore slideshow... And oddily enough, I awoke with a renewed willpower... Not faith in the future or my abilities or what have you... Not desire or will to win or to overcome obstacles and challenges... But rather, just old, plain and simple willpower... You know that thing defined as the trait of resolutely controlling one's behavior...

Hmmm... Guess I'll let all this decant for a while...

The Elusive Next Step  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Man alive! I have been (unsuccessfully) grinding NL2, NL5 and NL10 for about more than year now, in the hopes of pumping my bankroll to 10 times the NL25 buy-in, namely $250. While this bankroll management is pretty loose, considering I'm still playing what is called micro-stakes, AND still working full-time, I can definitely afford such guidelines. Anyway, lately (start of 2008 more or less), I have become a tad more successful, and got close to $200 without pumping any money into my BR, and then getting my first take of the elusiveness of the next stake. Almost there, I turned impatient and overly aggressive, which is definitely related to my impatience and eagerness to move up. Back to about $125, I did deposit on PartyPoker, mostly to get 5 free 2+2 Publishing books :P, plus a free $25 deposit bonus... Party being softer, I have spent most of the last 6 weeks flirting with the next step, always to fall short, be it because of impatience, donkeyism or bad beats (which I had my share of, but always balanced by my very own tremendous suckouts (twice or thrice), or more frequently, monster hits, such as those 2 quads Tens I flopped in the spane of maybe 5 days :|)... All in all, I just can't seem to win that very very elusive last buy-in... Stuck moving aroung $220 and $240+, without EVER getting to $250... Yesterday was the closest I got to finally moving up to NL25; short about half a buy-in, with Rockets in the hole, and a 5h2c3d flop, I got min-re-raised (I know I know) by the button and decided to shove, praying to the Poker Gods for the guy to be on Kings or Queens and not a freaking set... Stacked off against is Presto turned into top set :). Oh well, deja-fscking-vu all over again...

Started to wonder whether the Poker Gods like me or not... LOL!


April '08  

Posted by Alex Laforest in ,

Wow. What a strange month, come to think of it. Started with almost no play, as is usually the case when I play a little more during a couple of weeks. I think I temporarily stop playing just because I am a tad scared of what could happen to my life if I went on playing everyday. Something like social alienation creeps the hell out of me for some reason... Which I always considered sort of odd since I am such a loner most of the time... Anyway, that's for some other, more philosophical post I guess.

So April '08 started slow. For a couple of reasons actually. Yes, I do play less after going on a rampage. But April in Montreal also means (usually) 2 very important things. First of, Spring; that one is a given, but we tend to go a little crazier when Spring finally hits, and this year was even worse since it was a record breaking winter in terms of snowfall. And second, and that one is HUMONGOUS, the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs! Indeed, we Canucks cannot get enough of our hockey, man!!! And this year was something very special for us Habs fans; we finish top-seed in the Eastern Conference and could thus hope for great things to come. Unfortunately, as I write these words, our beloved Habs have sunk to a 3-1 deficit against the Philadelphia Flyers in a best-of-seven second round series :(. Since they'll be golfing before the end of the week-end, I got my full attention back on poker now...LOL.

Around mid-April, I started thinking I might not make it to 10,000 hands in the month, so I got into the "logging hands" mode. Everything was going so well, I felt very confident I would hit the milestone again when, one April 23rd's morning, I spilled my whole coffee mug on my 21 days old laptop :@! Catastrophe and misery, yelling, screaming, kicking myself, etc. etc.... Long story short, I kinda life-tilted there and didn't feel like playing for a couple of days. I felt... heart-broken, really... Which got me realizing I am very easily shaken and 'taken of my game' so to speak... In poker as well as in life, that is... To be continued.
With my brand new laptop drying, I then went through setting up my old piece of crap to play a little before the end of the month. Got a couple thousands while waiting to finally try booting my new coffee-smelling PC. When I did boot it, it worked!!! W00t!!!! Happy dance and many thanks to Karma, God, the Poker Gods and/or the Universe!!!! This helped a lot to finish the month with a semi-bang, playing another couple thousands hands and getting my BR to 1 Buy-in short of moving up to NL25 :).

Now, the graphs, as usual :P.

April 2008 By Hands
April 2008 By Date

On to a little analysis of my 7200 hands for the month (I know I know, I MUST show some more consistency :)... but... but... there was playoff hockey baby!!), something very interesting strikes me. Considering this PT overview:

NL$10 refers to play on PartyPoker while NL($0.10) is for PokerStars. Now, obviously, the first major difference is in the Net Amount Won; almost a mirror effect there, losing a little over 20 bucks on Stars while raking almost 30 from Party. Thus, one would start looking for other differences in the stats, relevant of my play on both sites. But, surprise surprise!! I am almost exactly the same player on both sites; 17.75/11.34/1.96 on Party, and 17.07/9.78/1.86 on Stars. Without delving into an analysis of my play based on these numbers, it's clear that I'm playing relatively similarly. Note I also win about 12% more showdowns on Party, but that's a testament to the poor quality of the field more than anything else, I think; bad players tend to have a harder time letting go of any hand that hit.

This relative resemblance is reinforced by a number of other minor similar stats, but quickly becomes fallacious under deep scrutiny, though, since one of the most important stats, Pre-Flop Raise %, is quite different (11.34 versus 9.78), which probably accounts for a little more success on Party. And then, there's also my Flop Aggression Factor, which is 3.73 on Party but 5.57 on Stars. Considering I do firmly believe players to be a little better, tougher and savvier, especially post-flop, on Stars, I think this also has to factor in my April results and the big gap between both sites.

A final difference which I also consider a factor is my Attempt To Steal Blinds % (39.32 on Party, 34.47 on Stars), since I might make most of my money with dead money :P. It does represent very small pots, but if they say Football/Hockey is a sport of inches, Poker might be a game of fractions... What am I saying?? Poker IS a game of probability, and what are probabilities if not fractions ;-)...



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)