Sunday, August 26, 2007

Played in my friend Scott's heads-up NLHE tournament this afternoon (after an absolutely fantastic DMB show last night at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin). I was (and am) pretty beat and brain dead after quite a bit of drinking and dancing last night. Add to that sleep deprivation (got about 4 hours of sleep before having to pack up and drive back to Chicago for a fantasy football draft), and you've got a pretty dead version of me.

Of course, as my luck would have it, I got matched up with Scott for the first round of the heads-up tourney. I think we started with 14 players, 2 of which sat out the first round on byes. $100 buy in and top two places paid.

I shouldn't feel as disappointed as I do about the fact that Scott knocked me out in the first round. We played well over an hour, and I honestly can't think of any hands that I would have played differently (except the one where I checked down a straight to the river because I was remembering my hole cards incorrectly). I felt that it was a really good match, though I didn't expect anything other than a good match vs. Scott. Neither one of us are push-monkeys, and we've matched up well in the past.

I had a slight lead at the break, mainly due to a hand that really taxed me, decision-making-wise. I think I could play that same hand a hundred different ways, depending on the day and the situation. Heck, I think if the wind was blowing in a different direction I might have played it differently.

I had KQ of (red, I think). I believe I was on the button (forgive me - I have killed a LOT of brain cells due to DMB and partying during the month of August). I called preflop and Scott raised. I called. The flop came K-x-x, all spades. Heads-up, the range of hands I put Scott on was pretty wide - anywhere from any pair to a middle suited Ace - and he's also capable of pulling off the random bluff or semi-bluff to keep things interesting.

So I hit top pair, nice kicker (unless Scott had AK). I couldn't really limit him to AK, though. He bet into me. Of course, I didn't like the 3 spades onboard, particularly since I didn't have one myself, but heads-up, I also didn't want to run from monsters under the bed. I had a lot of hands beat that Scott could have raised with. I debated and debated, and finally called his bet. (He was betting big enough to make it a tough call, though I can't remember blinds or amounts right now).

The turn was a blank, and he bet out again. Aside from the thought process that I went through on the flop, if I believed that was the right move then, the turn didn't change the scenario. I was very close to folding. It ultimately game down to a coinflip in my head - as in, I couldn't come to a strong argument to defend calling OR folding, and after all that thinking, I went with whatever came out of my mouth - which was "call." The river brought a 4th spade. I was done with the hand, but Scott checked to me and I showed my king. It held up.

In retrospect, I can only imagine that he had QQ. Of course, betting into that scary board, he had to figure that if I wasn't holding a spade, I'd bail. Like I said earlier - if it were 2 degrees cooler in the room, or the wind was blowing a different direction, maybe I would have. It was a big pot to win, and while I wouldn't change how I played it, I can't say I'd play it the same way again, either. It was just one of those borderline types of hands where you go with your gut.

After the break, Scott caught up (blinds were getting big). He had probably 70% of the chips when I finally went out. I raised preflop with 77 - 3x BB, which was close to half of my stack. Scott called. Flop came 10-8-6 (I think). Scott pushed all in (I was on the button). I called. He had A8 of clubs and I didn't improve.

The only thing I might have done differently was to fold to his all in bet (duh) - but, I mean - he did turn the action around on me, and calling all in is a lot different than betting or raising all in. However, Id have been left with maybe 5 big blinds if I folded, and that's just unplayable anyway. It was not a bad flop for 77, and I was pretty much committed to it at that point.

Randy made it to the 2nd round, but went out early in a brutal boat over boat (a rivered 2-outer, no less). He had 10-4 and flopped trip 4's, then turned the boat. His opponent had pocket 9's and rivered the 9. I don't think Randy could have done anything differently, though. The highest card onboard was a 10, and that looks pretty good for 99. After the hand, the guy said that on the turn, he put Randy on a 4 - so, he put his opponent on a hand that crushed his, and still called Randy's raise on the river. That guy wasn't going anywhere. I just feel bad that I dealt it.

Ahh well. That's poker!

Oh - and, good news... it looks like you guys will be seeing me in Vegas this December for the WPBT Winter Classic, thanks to my roomie :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I've got a crazy trip coming up... you see, I was scheduled to attend a conference for work in October in Seattle, Washington. I'm totally stoked about that, because I've always wanted to see Seattle.

Then, my cousin asked if I'd like to go to Vegas for my birthday, which is the weekend before my Seattle trip. I am SO overdue for a trip to Vegas, it's not even funny, right? So I said yes.

Now, I'm flying from Chicago to Vegas on Friday, Oct 19th, and then from Vegas to Seattle on Tues, Oct 23rd, then from Seattle back to Chicago on Friday, Oct 26th.

That's a whole lotta flying going on!

And awww hell yeah, Vegas baby!

If anyone plans to be in Vegas that weekend, give me a holler!

I am still planning to desperately try to get out there in December. Honestly, I can't afford this trip, but I decided, screw it, and charged it. I need a vacation!

And a birthday party in Vegas - who can pass that up?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I dropped 2 buy-in's at the baby game at Majestic last night because I played weak sauce. Weak, weak friggin sauce.

One hand is bugging the piss out of me, which is good because by the time I get over it, I will have thought about it so much that hopefully it will enter my mind every time I find myself in a similar situation - and I * will not * repeat it.

Back story: I'd been watching the guy to my left for about 4 hours. He mixed his game up really well and was unpredictable. I wanted to ask if he had a blog after watching him raise the hammer preflop under the gun, and then bet it all the way to the river with no pair/no draw. His opponent folded on the river, and he showed the hammer for a whole lotta red chips. Nice. I saw him raise preflop with anything from the hammer to suited connectors to AK to monster pairs. I also saw him limp with all manner of playable starting hands, and I saw him make good laydowns. He wasn't a maniac; he was just unpredictable - which, note to self, is something I need to work on.

The Hand: I've got AJ suited UTG. I hate AJ. It's my nemesis hand, and offsuit I'm pretty likely to pitch it to any heat, particularly in early position. Suited, I'd like to see if I can hit a flush draw. I limp for $2, and the guy to my left raises to $10. In a lot of situations, I'd lay this hand down to a raise. (More on this later). When 3 people called the raise ahead of me, though, I decided to see a flop in hopes of snatching some diamonds.

The flop came J-8-x rainbow. Here comes my play, drenched in all the foul goodness of weak sauce you could possibly imagine.

I checked. He bet. Everyone else folded.

Wait for it....

I flat called. (WTF? Dunk #1 in the weak sauce).

Turn came a blank, no diamond.

Check. Bet. Call. (Dunk #2).

River: Blank. I checked again. He bet $35. There is easily over $130 in the pot. I agonized for a moment, and because the bet was so small compared to the pot, I called.

He flopped 2nd pair, 8's, and rivered 2 pair, 8's and 7's.

Let's look at my thought process during that hand. It is spattered with the flavor of weak sauce all over the place.

Initially, I'm thinking, AJ is my nemesis and is very easily dominated by hands that people typically raise preflop with (AQ, AK, not to mention the big pairs). I'm not happy to play it aside from the flush draw possibilities to begin with.

On the flop, I'm thinking, if he's got AK, my hand could be good. But what if he has a big pocket pair?

Wiping Off the Weak Sauce: Lesson #1: Bet out on the flop with TPTK, or check raise. FIND OUT WHERE YOU ARE AT!!!! The check-call not only gave me zero information about where I stood with my pair, but it gave me no chance to take the pot right then and there.

Wiping Off the Weak Sauce: Lesson #2: Fear not monsters under the bed. Wanna know if there's a monster under the bed? See Lesson #1. Aside from the fact that I was check-calling weakly out of a fear of a monster hand, I was also ignoring the information I already had about the guy. Not once did I think about the fact that I had seen him raise preflop with all manners of hands, and that this particular raise was no different. It did not mean he had a monster. Sure, he could have - but I could have found that out on the flop instead of paying it off to the river.

As it turns out, my check-calling allowed him to catch up and beat my hand, which was good until the river.

I am very certain that a check-raise would have gotten him out of the hand, and if not, he'd have departed on the turn to any aggression from me. He was not a chaser, and he was capable of laying down hands. I'd seen him do it.

And that's why I'm so irritated at myself for this hand. This sort of play is much less a sin in low level limit holdem, but it's suicide in no limit - even at the baby limits. My play in this hand went against rules that I know to be true and effective (bet and raise to find out where you are, and for a chance to take the pot right there). It flew in the face of all of the mental notes I'd collected on this guy, as I ignored every one of them. It was chicken shit, monsters-under-the-bed weakness, the type of play I should be preying on and not exhibiting myself. I have no right to even sit at a no-limit table if that's how I plan to play.

And it's not how I plan to play. This hand has been naggingly haunting me for the last 24 hours. I won't do it again.

That hand cost about the equivalent of a buy-in. The other big loss I can recall was again a mis-play on my part, but more of a poor choice of plays and a little bit of un-luck.

I flopped a straight from the big blind in an unraised pot with 2-4 on a board of 3-5-6, two spades (I had hearts). 7 players in the pot. On such an ugly flop, I figured that betting out in early position wouldn't get me much action. With that many players in, I figured I could count on a bet from a late position player, at least, at which point I could throw in a raise. Most flop raises were getting called (then ditched on the turn, unless a monster developed). I planned to go for the check-min-raise.

To my dismay, play checked all the way around. BAH! The turn brought the third spade. Damn it anyhow. Sprinkling of weak sauce here - I probably could have bet out here to find out where I was, but with another card still to come, 3 spades onboard, and 7 people still holding live cards, I decided to take the conservative route. I checked. IT CHECKED AROUND AGAIN! Well, that was sick. The river was a blank, and as anxious as this table had been to bet even their flush draws (let alone made flushes), I figured I was probably good. I bet out, hoping someone with an odd pair would call.

Any-two-cards guy at the far left end of the table raised me, just over the min raise. Everybody else folded. I shook my head and looked at the guy and said, "You're slowplaying that flush on me, aren't you?" He was so drunk that his blank stare said absolutely nothing. Damn it anyhow. This guy was the kind of guy to call down with any two cards. As soon as he hit a pair (ANY pair - not just top pair), he'd come out betting. Any time he hit a draw (ANY draw, not just nut draws), he'd come out raising. He'd call river bets with absolutely nothing and show down Jack high. Was this guy raising the fact that he hit a pair of 4's on the river? Very possibly. Did he hit some lame ass two pair? Also possible, as he was hitting a LOT of two-pair's. Did he have the flush? I knew that was absolutely possible too, but because I could not definitively put this guy on a hand, I felt I had to call.

He had the flush. Straight no good.

I'm not sure the plan to check-raise was awful, and I can envision situations where I'd go that route again. It didn't work out this time.

Side note on the flush guy: he was 6 buy-in's deep by the time I ran into his flush, though he had won back $500 or so of it with ridiculously bad cards. By the time he left a few hours later, he had given all of it back, plus bought in for another $200 and lost that. He's the reason why I stayed on an extra buy-in... to try and grab some of that. 'Twas not my time.

After this yo-yo few weeks of poker, I'm up about $130. I go back to work in a few days. My debate now is: do I keep that bit of money in the poker box - aka, in my poker bankroll (which leaves me, again, one buy in from bust)? Or do I take that money, stick it in the bank. Pay a bill. Buy something for my camera. And chill on the poker for a while, knowing I'm going to be pretty busy with work for the next month or so.

I haven't yet decided.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

DMB sure sings a sexy song about the end of the world, but as I drove home from the casino last night, the lightning show was so fantastic that I wondered if the world was ending and nobody told me.

I had the absolute best time playing poker last night. If only every trip to Majestic could be so wonderful. It's always nice to walk away a winner, but on top of that, my table was absolutely off the hook hysterical. Every once in a blue moon, the chemistry between the players at the table is just dead on. For once, I was sitting at the table that everyone wanted to be at - you know, the one with railbirds watching just to see why these people were having so much fun.

The day didn't start out so jovial. For the first couple hours, I was knee deep in quicksand. I was seeing playable hands, but redraws were killing me and I ditched a lot of hands on the turn - only after being the aggressor to that point. I was down a buy in pretty quick, but there was a LOT of money on the table and the guys were pushing it around with free abandon - definitely not protecting their stacks. I wanted me some!

To my dismay, the 3 big stacks at the table got up and left in short order, leaving a bunch of measly $100-ish stacks (rocks, no less). Oy vey. After an orbit or so, we got some new blood, and that is when the fun began.

My first surge was with QQ. I made it 12 to go from UTG+1 (1/2 blinds) and got 3 callers (d'oh! That didn't work!) As soon as the dealer noted, "4 players..." I immediately began the chant in my head: queen! queen! queen! And what to my wondering eyes should appear? A flop of K-Q-x. I doubled through one of the rocks, who quickly took to the streets.

Alrighty... back to even.

My next influx of chips came courtesy of the cute guy in the 10 seat. He was polite and funny to boot - but probably way too young for me. Late college age maybe? Mid-20's? I dunno. I'm awful at guessing ages. Anyhow, I was one off the button and limped with 6-7 of spades. One of the blinds raised it to 10, and with 2 callers after him, I called the extra 8. The flop came 4c-5c-x. Cutie bet 15 into the pot of 40. Hmmm... I needed one caller ahead of me to chase. Got one. 70 in the pot and 15 to me. Call. Turn gave me the spade draw. Cutie bet 20. All I could think was, "Boy, you are not betting enough to get me off this draw!" Other guy folded. 20 to me into a pot of 105. Sorry, buddy - you're giving me over 5:1 and I'm open ended with the flush draw. I called. Rivered the flush. Cutie bet 20 and I raised him (can't remember how much - probably to 50). He called. I showed. He mucked.

He mentioned the hand a few times over the course of the evening, and feeling bad for the guy, I eventually explained why I chased. He seemed like a decent player but not really a student of the game. The table was already on to me that I knew what I was doing, so I didn't feel like I was giving away information by showing that I understand pot odds. The table was so busy whooping it up that I'm sure nobody noticed anyway. Cutie seemed quite thoughtful after my explanation. I hope it helps him out someday.

I had a lovely chip stack at this point, chip leader for certain. That's when the fun began!

Side note: I collect penguins. It started back when I lived in Philly (1997-ish), working in computer repair. I was the traveling network technician, and I had a sticker of Tux the Linux penguin on the back window of my beater of a car. Most people don't know what Linux is, let alone that Tux is the mascot, so people assumed that I just liked penguins. Non-geek friends and even a few of my clients started buying penguin things for me - trinkets, figurines, etc. That is how my collection began.

Penguins in my home office

I have a little penguin figurine that I use as a card capper. He looks like baby Mumble from Happy Feet. Sometimes, people ignore him. Sometimes, he's the center of attention. Last night, it was the latter.

Cutie had some words with the penguin after my suckout hand. The 1 seat inquired as to the eye-pecking abilities of the penguin. There were occasional shouts of "Penguin Power!" from various table-mates whenever I was in a hand. The guy to my left (a regular - the one I sucked out on with 9-8 offsuit last week) borrowed the penguin once, and snagged a runner-runner flush off of a flop with no pair, no draw (unless you count a backdoor flush draw). At one point, I went to the bathroom and let Cutie borrow the penguin while I was gone. When I came back, the table told tales of debauchery and unspeakable things that were done to the penguin in my absence. I was mock-appalled, and the woman to my right performed CPR on my penguin in an attempt to bring him back to life. It worked, and the table rejoiced.

The other source of hilarity came from a phrase that the 1 seat threw out after sucking out on a hand. It went something like, "Even a blind chicken finds corn every once in a while."

WTF?? Blind chicken?? Do chickens even eat corn? I guess they do. But still, WTF???

By the end of the evening, we had blind chickens, deaf penguins, and all manner of senseless barnyard animals finding corn and green chips and who knows what else. We got a lot of mileage out of that one.

Unfortunately, after folding for 3 dealers straight (ie. an hour and a half), I decided that as much fun as my table was, it was time to go. I was up 215 or so, and the midnight hour was near. I bid farewell to my table and wished them well.

I'm sure nobody wanted to see my chips leave the table, but at the same time, the smart few must have realized that I wasn't going to part with them easily.

I had an absolutely great time. I wish I knew people's names to thank them (not that they read this). It was a lot of fun, and one of those rare times when you feel like you've made a table full of friends out of strangers.

And look who has a baby bankroll going!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Thoroughly enjoyed Pauly's Butterfly Dreams post... go read it.

Some of the most influential concepts in my life are along these lines of thinking. I learned about the idea of "things as they are" from the book, Tao of Pooh.

Pauly's post is right up my alley - though it took me a couple years to figure out how to apply it all to poker. It's worth the effort.

Has our WPBT wiki been spammed, or are we really linking up to UK sex sites, sex chat on the phone, old tarts, mature women, sexy UK girls, live web fucking, bollywood indian sex, jenna jameson photos, and used car dealers on the front page?

I deleted the spam links, but if the powers that be think they should remain, by all means - restore!

I'm not much a fan of 6-handed sit n go's, but tonight, I was craving some poker but didn't want to invest a whole lot of time (need my beauty rest, you know). I dislike turbo's even more than I dislike 6-handed games, so.... I played in a 50+5 6-handed SnG on Full Tilt.

I won :)

I put down one ugly beat when we were down to 4 players when I ran my 77 up against 88 and hit a 4-flush. It wouldn't have busted me, as I benefited early from a double-up via a calling station, but it certainly helped.

As much as I prefer playing poker live in the casino, I do enjoy playing online - particularly for the times when I don't want to invest a 2 hour round-trip drive (time+gas=expensive) to play some cards.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

This afternoon, I checked out the Chicago Charitable Game held in Tinley Park (my hometown) with my friends Armando and Patrick. It was a fantastic prospect to play some poker without having to drive an hour to do so. We met up at Olympic Star (a local Greek restaurant, aka diner) for some pre-poker fuel (I had the pizza burger) then headed over to the Tinley VFW hall for the event. There was a NLHE early bird tournament at 2pm, and we had pre-registered for it.

There were 50 people in the tournament - not bad, considering that the CCG boys were in the south 'burbs as a sort of "test market," and didn't advertise the event. I met Bert, one of the owners, who seemed hopeful to be holding regular games out in my neck of the woods. He mentioned the possibility of an upcoming game in Homer Glen, which would be even sweeter, as I could probably walk there. (I'm only slightly exaggerating).

The buy-in was $20 for 1,500 chips or $40 for 3,000, and an extra 1,000 chips if you either pre-registered online or paid another $10 to be donated to the charity.

I started with the 4,000 max chips, and blinds started at 25/50. Those chips go fast with 12 minute rounds, though, particularly when you don't see any playable hands. It looks like these fast tournaments require some gambling up front to have any chance to go deep. Still, playing only 2 hands the entire time (both all-in's after I was down below 6xBB), I survived almost half the field. I think I busted around 30th. Pat and Armando busted just before I did.

While I have no notable hand recaps, I can say that I was very pleased with how CCG ran the event. I've never attended any similar events (going on the assumption that the Rockford charitable games are similar), but I was impressed and will definitely play another CCG event next time one rolls through town. They used computers to display the timer/blinds/etc, and were very good with explaining the rules and keeping everybody informed of blind increases and such. The 3 dealers I had were good (faster than I had expected), and the table setup and chip distribution was easy to follow and went smoothly. I have no complaints. It was very well run, and Bert was very outgoing in talking to all of the players and showed interest in building the games in the south suburbs.

Thumbs up for Chicago Charitable Games. I'll definitely play with them again.

They had SnG's and cash games going as well, but I did not partake in those, opting instead to head over to Majestic Star. There's something about knowing that even if I lose, at least I'm earning a free sandwich that draws me to the boats. Free diet cokes don't hurt either (except for the cancer I'm sure they're giving me). If I wasn't on such a tight bankroll, I'd have stayed at the CCG games, but knowing that I'm still just a buy-in from bust, I wanted to head out to play against a crowd I'm more comfortable with. Next time, CCG, I promise.

Majestic ended up treating me well, though I thought I was going to be writing another grinder post. I blew over half of my stack on my first hand in the big blind - 45 of clubs, flopped the open ended straight flush draw and a pair of 5's. Turned 2 pair, but of course that made the straight for my opponent, who held pocket 8's. He min-raised me and I called, hoping at least for a club on the river. It didn't hit, nor did my straight, but I bet into him anyway and he flat called, thinking I had the nuts. (Seriously? I just sat down. Why does everybody think I have the nuts all the time? There's a big belief out there that girls only bet when they have a big hand. I need to exploit that more than I do).

Rebuy! Partially, anyway. Over the next 6 hours, I got my money back plus a little. It was slow going though. I had my little penguin statue with me (I use him as a card capper), and at one point, after folding for an insane amount of time, I picked the penguin up and turned him to face me and said, "Penguin, you are not helping me!" I had just folded my button, 95 of spades. Sure enough, the flop came 9-9-5, two hearts. The flush draw got there, and another guy had 9-2 and rivered a full house. I probably would have tripled up (as the one guy busted on the hand).

I will never, ever scold the penguin again!

Around 10pm, my table broke and I got moved to a full game. Normally, I'd just leave instead of changing tables, as to not mess with any juju, but I decided to stay (mainly because it was only 10pm, and my original plan was to leave between 11p and midnight). A couple hands in, I get AA and win a good sized pot. A few hands later, QQ wins me a couple bets preflop and on the flop. Not 20 minutes went by, and I was up another $100.

Then, the patented all-in-blind guy sat down. 5 hands in a row, he went all in blind. One poor soul with AA called him. Blind-pusher had 45 of spades. Flop came a 6. Turn came an 8. River came a 7. AA went home. When he finally quit pushing all in every hand, he became just your garden variety bully, raising preflop to $30 (the blinds are $1/$2), raising everybody's bets...

Sure, some people look at that guy and drool - and maybe if I had a bigger bankroll cushion right now, I would too. But it was late (I didn't sleep well last night and I didn't want to be sleepy driving home), and I was up a buy-in and a half. I decided to let the rest of the table try and knock off the maniac.

I chipped up and headed to the cage.

All in all, it was a very good day - except for the half hour or so I spent in a bit of terror. I have a weather reporting program on my Blackberry that sends me text messages when there are severe weather alerts. I have it set to alert me for my current GPS location, as well as for my home. A few hours in at Majestic, I got a message that there was a tornado warning in my neighborhood (home - the casino is about an hour from my house). Shit. I didn't realize it was supposed to storm today. Normally, I love storms. I've long said that someday, just once in my life, I want to spend a season chasing storms through the midwest. I'm usually the one standing out on my driveway seeking a glimpse of a funnel cloud - not the one afraid of storms.

But there's something different when the storm is threatening your home and you aren't at home to defend against it. It's not like I can stop mother nature, but I wasn't there to get the cats downstairs. I wasn't there to... I don't know, go down with the ship. I felt panicked and very worried - which is absolutely not like me, which made me fear the worst even more so.

I called my mom to tell her to turn on the TV (because the same funnel cloud that was spotted one town over from me was headed towards her town). I also told her to call me if there was any reported damage or tornado touchdowns.

It was a long half hour as my Blackberry continued to update the warning text.

Thankfully, the storm finally dissipated, though it was thought at the time that the funnel actually did touch down. I'll have to read the news tomorrow and see.

When I moved into this house last summer, I had no idea I was getting even closer to tornado alley. I've grown up with tornadoes, living on the outskirts of tornado alley my entire life - though it appears I've been just south of the real danger. I only moved 7 miles north of my old house, but in 4 years at my old house, the tornado sirens (meaning, funnel cloud spotted nearby) only went off twice.

They've gone off 4 times already this year at the new house.

Oy! Once upon a time, I'd have found that exciting, but it's a lot more worrisome when your name is on the mortgage! (Now I know a little bit of how my mom felt when she'd stand at the front door of my childhood home yelling for me to get in out of the rain and down in the basement... then my dad and I would come trudging in. hehehe - I think I got part of my storm chasing nature from him!)

I'd still like to catch a glimpse of a funnel cloud someday. I've been close, but not quite... though I think I'd rather see it someplace away from home!

I'm having deja vu, like I've written this in a post before. Probably last time the sirens went off....

Anyway, have a good night, all. I'm off to catch some zzz's.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Great time for my cable connection to disconnect

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Chicago Charitable Games is hosting an event right here in my hometown of Tinley Park this Sunday, August 5th. Cash games and sit-n-go's start at noon, with MTT's running at 2pm, 6:30pm, 9:30pm, and a special Player of the Week tournament at 11pm.

The games will be hosted at:
The VFW Hall of Tinley Park
17147 Oak Park Ave
Tinley Park, IL 60477

See the Chicago Charitable Games site for details on limits, pre-registration, etc.

Welp, it took a while (5 hours or so), but I doubled my buy-in tonight at Majestic. If ever there was a session that qualified for the label "grinding out a win," this was it.

No stories to tell really. If you were watching my Twitter stream, you caught about the only real tale of the night - that of my shaking hand syndrome. A few hours in, I was fold fold folding away, when suddenly I woke up with Aces in the big blind. It folded around to the button, who limped in. Small blind called, and wanting to make at least a little off of this hand, I checked. Flop came 8-high, rags, and the small blind bet out. Alrighty, enough of this. I went to count out my chips, and as I grabbed the stack and started to count it out, I caught the friggin shaking hand syndrome. Well fuck me. Trying to disguise my shaking hand, I stopped counting and threw out whatever was in my hand at the time, which was of course a pretty big overbet (I probably threw $30 out there into a pot of $15). Everyone folded, of course. Damn damn damn. Stupid shaking hand. I'm usually really good at preventing the shakes, but I guess when you see your first playable hand in an hour and it happens to be aces, some things are uncontrollable.

But damn damn damn anyway. Stupid hand.

I almost never worry about my hands shaking, since they rarely do anymore. What I worry about is when I'm sitting there with a big hand - I can feel my heart pound in my throat almost every time, and I always wonder... can everybody see my heart pounding in my neck? I feel like a cartoon with the arteries on the sides of my neck throbbing.

Watch, now all of my home game cohorts are going to be staring at my neck every time I'm in a pot. Time to start wearing turtle necks!

I probably won't make it out to the poker room again until next week. My Friday and Saturday nights are tied up. Thursday night is a maybe - but I think I'm going to take a break. Maybe Sunday... Next week is my last week off work. Boooo hiss.