Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas, and a hella Happy New Year to all! :)

Happy Holidays from!

Monday, December 18, 2006

This made me giggle this morning. I love posts like these, full of the random and often goofy-ass shit you hear only in Vegas...

Go visit Grubbette

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I'm playing in the Full Tilt Bad Beat on Cancer tourney, but I fear I am not long for this world. With the arctic chilly cards I've had, I probably should have been out long ago. I'm 7 places out of the money right now (9 pay out of 98 entrants, I think it was). Booo.

Or not. April (CA) just popped into the chat, suddenly I had back to back AA and JJ - and doubled through both times! I'm 9/11 right now and 9 spots pay. Of course, this being a cheap charity event, pay is small, but considering how long it has been since I've actually played poker - I'll take whatever I can get!

At one point, there was this player I'd tagged as typical donkey style. (My literal first comment on him was, "Hee haw"). After a little while, I'd tagged his preferences, and threw a little salt into a wound when I bet him out of a pot in which I'd flopped a set. He then asked me if his 9 for 2nd pair was good. I replied, "9 was good." He said, "Damn you must be taking notes on me!" Ha! No... I just want you to call me down more! He got knocked out a few hands later, and I thought to myself, "Man, that sucks! Just when I figured him out and set out some bait!"

Isn't that how it should go, though? The donkeys shouldn't really be around long enough that you can play fancy against them, unless they're on a lucky streak. Sometimes I need to remind myself not to waste time getting fancy against the donkeys. Pound on donkeys with ABC and save the trickery for someone smart enough to be tricked.

One more person out and I'm in the money. Fingers are crossed. My cards are nasty ugly. But the new FTP interface is nice. I'm playing the Racetrack style with avatars. I had to re-download the client and re-install it, since for some reason it didn't want to do its usually in-place upgrade via the software update since I upgraded to Windows Vista. The new install, though, worked fine. I played next to Andy Bloch for a good portion of the evening. He's very polite, and generally quiet. Unlike when people like Phil Gordon play, there weren't a zillion teeny-bopper fanboyz badgering Mr. Bloch, which made the chat nice and tolerable.

Final table - nice! $2 profit so far :)

I miss playing poker in the casino. I miss it a lot. Sometime in 2007, if I'm not mistaken, the major construction on I-80 will be complete and I will once again be able to make it to the Indiana casinos in 45 minutes or so. As it stands, I'm lucky to do it under an hour 15, and I just don't have enough free time to make that trek each way. I miss Empress Joliet. A 15 minute drive is so much easier. I shouldn't complain; some people don't even have a casino within driving distance.

The only success I tend to have online is in NLHE SnG's and tourneys - but I don't like them so much, aside from the occasional game. My favorite game is limit hold'em, and I don't have the same success rate in that game online as I do F2F. I sure do miss the poker room.

Well, I went out in 8th place. Pushed with the nut flush draw (and as it stood, 2 live over cards). If I wasn't so sleepy, I might have tried a bit harder, but I was the shorty anyhow and at some point you must either play to win or go home :)

With that, I'm off to bed...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Apparently it's OK to trash people and talk about their personal problems on your blog, as long as you don't use names. This is the first and last time I'll ever read Michael Craig's blog, and you can bet his book is going right in the fireplace.

I can't even summarize in a decent or respectful way. This post is just sick.

Somewhere, It's Hammer Time - Part II
by Michael Craig

Of course, parts 3 and later show bloggers in a very obviously over-compensated bright light.

The bloggers mentioned are referred to as Craig's "new friends," but where I come from, a friend wouldn't expose your worst moments to the world just to have something to write about.

I'm even more disturbed that approves of this sort of opportunistic bashing.

Kudos to SLB for being the first to comment on Craig's piece.


Falstaff commented on Mr. Craig's post page that the things said in that post are no worse than things Mr. Craig has said about his other friends such as Mike Matusow. I find it noble that Falstaff would publicly post in defense of his blogging site-mate, but I beg to differ.

Just because it's "no worse" doesn't make it right. The "concern" expressed here is so thickly veiled that I'm inclined to find it more likely that Mr. Craig falls into the category of those with "no conscience" that would find this "funny." (Mr. Craig's words - not mine).

I wasn't at the blogger gathering this time around, but can piece together the faces behind the missing names based on tidbits from other trip reports. Does our "sobbing, hyperventilating" friend want the whole poker blogging community to know of her addiction problems? Maybe, but that's not Michael Craig's judgment to make. I wasn't there, and now I know. At least the detrimental effects of someone's behavior are limited to those who witnessed the event. Thanks to Mr. Craig and the almighty and constantly archived internet, many more people now know and will be able to research the fact for years to come.

That's the thing that irritates me the most about irresponsible posts such as this one. I'm not saying Mr. Craig is the only blogger to write such posts - but he's one of the highest profile bloggers to do so. As a professional writer, I would expect Mr. Craig to have the skills to focus his creative talents on things other than bashing people for fun and profit, and the common sense to be a little more sensitive to the implications of posting private details about peoples' lives on the internet.

I stick to my original notion that friends don't say things like that about friends. Obviously, the definition of "friendship" varies from state to state and blogger to blogger.

(Waffles, however, said it much better than I ever could).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

In honor of Al and the stories of degenerate gambling and debauchery that are about to occur (and that I will miss) in Sin City, I listened to my entire catalog of Anthrax tunes last night.

Dude I miss Judge Dredd.

Good luck in Vegas, you lucky bastards.

I'll be reading :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

I need some cash to materialize ASAP, or else my face will be (mostly un-noticeably) absent from Vegas next weekend.

Where, oh poker fairy, have you been?

I bought a new house 3 months ago - a bigger, better, nicer house! A lovely house! A spacious house!

It's kicking my ass.

Why can't I be a DINK ("dual income - no kids")? Being a SINK is fuckin' hard sometimes. At least I have nobody to clean up after. And Xmas shopping will be WAY cheaper this year, sans-boyfriend.

Pray for the poker fairy to visit and stick a grand under my pillow if you want to see me in Vegas... though I did just RSVP for the June event, and I WILL have money by then!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Geek claims he's not clever, but this had me laughing my ass off this morning:

Goodbye, Jim Leach. [sic] "You click your mouse, you lose your house," indeed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I must apologize for skipping over all of the "live-blogging politics" posts from yesterday. Yes, I did my civic duty and voted yesterday (go blue!), but - live-blogged politics? I think I would rather stick pencils in my eye than READ about the minute by minute projections of each state. It's hard enough watching it, and at least then you get pretty colors on TV for stimulation.

Poker has been scarce around here lately. My new mortgage is kinda kicking my ass, so I withdrew more money from Full Tilt to pay some October bills. I plan to make it out to Vegas in December, though I have no idea how I'm going to pay for it. That's the joy of having the attitude I have. Me to Self: Ahhh, just go. You'll figure it out.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I know this has nothing to do with poker, BUT since many of my fellow poker bloggers are users of Googles (or

I read a few days ago that (finally), the blogger beta is fully cooked, and that account migration will be available "really really soon" for all blogger users. (See Blogger Buzz post). I'm also reading tons of reports of various bloggers across the webosphere switching over.

How the hell do you switch? I want to switch!!

I read somewhere that there should be a link in your Blogger dashboard, but I don't have one.

Have any of you switched, or seen a link that allows you to switch to the new blogger beta version? If so, how? Where? Help!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Great Space Coaster touches down in Indiana for some live WSOP Circuit Event coverage! Check out the World Series of Poker web site today or tomorrow for Spaceman's live coverage of the event. w00t!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Does Iggy know there's still a Party Poker banner at the bottom of his blog?

My brain is leaking out of my ear after that uber.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bobby Bracelet has done amazing work once again in the final round of auctions for Peyton!

The best item up for auction of all times: (sorry, had to bust the nut right away. This one is too good!)

A genuine Genesis model poker table from Lucky Leahy's, signed by over 30 professional poker players! Not only is it an awesome table - it's been touched the the hands of gods.

Also up for your bidding pleasure:

A package of items from WSOP Champion Greg "The Fossilman" Raymer, including an autographed fossil and t-shirt, and a PokerStars tote bag.

An autographed basketball jersey (size XL) from Mike "The Mouth" Matusow.

Another HUGE Package from Donkey Puncher and Bobby Bracelet - this time including the abominable AlCantHang himself!

Last but not least... a while back, Paul Hannum, WPT camera man and director of the movie "The Real Old Testament," donated a DVD of the movie to our Peyton auctions. Before we could list the DVD for sale, however, Paul Hannum passed away, leaving behind his fiancee and a child on the way. Proceeds from the auction of "The Real Old Testament" DVD will be donated to Hannum's family via


Friday, October 20, 2006

The latest email scam to reach my inbox takes advantage of the recent US anti-gaming legislation, at least psychologically. I got pretty excited for about .03 seconds - thought maybe it was a birthday present :)

Hyperlinks removed for your protection, but they went to a fake Neteller site set up on someone's AOL home page. Brilliant!

Dear NETELLER Client:

You have just received $684.00 USD in your NETELLER Account from affiliate programs.

Payment details

Amount: USD 684.00
ID: 2050551
Subject: You must use the link below to accept the payment.

We hope you enjoy your cash.Use this link to accept the payment :

Please note that the fee of $1.00 USD has been deducted from the amount.

Thank you,


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Go read what Bill said.

Clarification: I should have said, go read Neteller's updated statement (PDF). I linked to Bill, who linked to Neteller's updated statement on the gaming ban.

Their updated statement is basically that they intend to treat their business as if it is within US jurisdiction.

That said, their foreign status is now irrelevant. It is as if they are a financial institution operating in the US. I'm sure they will fight to be categorized as some financial institution that is exempt from this law, but our government granting that exemption is unlikely. They may be buffoons but they know who Neteller is.

My question to Full Tilt, after being bombarded with bright and perky Affiliate newsletters about how great things are now that Full Tilt has become our savior:

Does Full Tilt have any opinion of the legality of the affiliate program, in light of the new legislation?

Their response:


We are not in a position to answer specific legal questions nor to provide general legal advice to our affiliates. Please seek appropriate legal opinions from an attorney or other authorized legal advisor as soon as practical. Additionally, if you are interested in following the various issues surrounding poker today, you may wish to visit the PPA site at Thank you for your support.

Best regards,


That's funny, because if I'm not mistaken, they doled out a huge piece of legal advice to their thousands of US players, stating that playing online poker does not break any US Federal laws. That nugget immediately followed their statement of "After consultation with numerous legal experts in this field, we want to make you aware...." (See FTP's press release)

There are a million ways they could have worded that affiliate email that wouldn't have sounded like, "Yup, affiliates are breaking the law, but we won't tell you - we'll keep accepting your referrals as long as you don't get caught! Good luck with that!" or, "We love our players, but affiliates are on their own!"

Thanks a lot. Keep on handing out the legal advice so long as it lines your pocketbooks. Besides - my question was stated purposefully NOT to ask for advice, but to ask for a statement on their position on the topic.

Reading skills are overrated anyway.

My question to Full Tilt, after being bombarded with bright and perky Affiliate newsletters about how great things are now that Full Tilt has become our savior:
Does Full Tilt have any opinion of the legality of the affiliate program, in light of the new legislation?

Their response:


We are not in a position to answer specific legal questions nor to provide general legal advice to our affiliates. Please seek appropriate legal opinions from an attorney or other authorized legal advisor as soon as practical. Additionally, if you are interested in following the various issues surrounding poker today, you may wish to visit the PPA site at Thank you for your support.

Best regards,


That's funny, because if I'm not mistaken, they doled out a huge piece of legal advice to their thousands of US players, stating that playing online poker does not break any US Federal laws. That nugget immediately followed their statement of "After consultation with numerous legal experts in this field, we want to make you aware...." (See FTP's press release)

There are a million ways they could have worded that affiliate email that wouldn't have sounded like, "Yup, affiliates are breaking the law, but we won't tell you - we'll keep accepting your referrals as long as you don't get caught! Good luck with that!" or, "We love our players, but you affiliates are on your own!"

Thanks a lot. Keep on handing out the legal advice so long as it lines your pocketbooks. Besides - my question was stated purposefully NOT to ask for advice, but to ask for a statement on their position on the topic.

Reading skills are overrated anyway.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Neteller vows to stay in the US.... so says the Wall Street Journal.

I'd rather read a statement from Neteller themselves, saying something warm and fuzzy like, "We talked to all kinds of lawyer type people and we will continue to accept US clients because this new law does not apply to us," but this is a start.

The WSJ article ran yesterday. The link will expire, as the WSJ is a subscription based newspaper, but the article didn't say much besides Neteller's quote: "We are staying in the U.S.," said Bruce Elliott, Neteller's executive vice president, marketing and sales, told a online gambling conference in Barcelona. "I don't think we have a very big problem."

Took 3rd in tonight's Mookie. Yeah, I know I said I was done playing. I lied a little.

My KK went down to worldpoker's AT when he pulled a straight outta thin air. It was like magic, I tell ya!

Had fun though. Now I must sleep.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Online poker is not illegal... at least not any more than it was already illegal, if you live in such a state. Check out this CardPlayer article: "Legal landscape of online poker has not changed"

Made me feel a little better about playing, anyway. The legal experts seem to be avoiding the topic of affiliate revenues, though. And we still have to wait and see if companies like Neteller will shut their doors to US players, making it impossible (or at least more difficult) for us to reload accounts or withdraw winnings. CardPlayer mentioned the possibility of the gaming act not covering check transactions, opening up the possibility of using e-checks to fund accounts.

On a side note... Firefox 2 Release Candidate 2 is out, and I'm running it. My favorite features so far are the x's on the individual tabs in the browser window, and automatic spell check when you're typing in text boxes on a web page (such as, writing this post). Misspelled words get underlined as you type. Sweet.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I got this via email from Full Tilt Poker around 9pm tonight:

Dear phlyersphan,

Full Tilt Poker is here to stay!

As an online poker player, you have probably heard about the new legislation passed by the U.S. Congress earlier this week that attempts to prevent you from being able to transfer money to online gaming sites.

While this new law has prompted some sites to announce plans to abandon the U.S. market in coming days, we assure you that Full Tilt Poker will continue to provide all of its players - both inside and outside of the United States - with a full complement of real money ring games and tournaments for their enjoyment.

After consultation with numerous legal experts in this field, we want to make you aware of the following:

* Legal

The new U.S. legislation does not in any way attempt to criminalize the act of you playing online poker. By playing online at Full Tilt Poker, you are not breaking any U.S. Federal laws.

* Full Access

The passage of the new Internet Gaming law will not have any impact on your day-to-day experience at Full Tilt Poker. We will provide all of our players, everywhere in the world, with full access to all of our games and tournaments.

* Easy Deposits and Withdrawals

We will continue to provide our players with all of the safe, secure and convenient methods for transferring money to and from the site. In fact, in recent discussions with our payment processors, we have been assured that this new law will have no immediate impact on their day-to-day business. And as always, any monies that you have on deposit with Full Tilt Poker remain completely safe and secure.

Furthermore, we firmly believe that online poker is not encompassed by this new legislation. In any event, we will continue to lobby for an express carve-out for online poker and for your right to play a truly American game from the privacy of your own home and computer.

We are excited about the future here at Full Tilt Poker and in the coming weeks and months, we plan to roll out many new features designed to enhance your online poker experience.

We appreciate your loyalty to our site and, in turn, want you to know that we will remain loyal to our valued players in the United States and throughout the world.

We look forward to seeing you at the table.


Full Tilt Poker

We're so fucked

Because I am such a huge chicken shit law abiding citizen of the United States of America, I've removed all of my poker affiliate links from this blog. While I was at it, I went through every single post I've ever made and removed all hyperlinks to online gaming sites. (Scurvy scared me!) It took a few hours. To me, it was better to preserve my tales of what once was than to lose all of that.

Sigh. This sucks.

Last night, I played poker online for the last time. I got killed in the Mookie game, losing most of my stack with QQ vs. KK. I made it to the top 16 or so, but that was it for me. I played in the second chance game and went out on the final table bubble. I was profitable on my cash table, though, so I was able to cash out for more than what I started with. I actually played a little NL at the cash tables, for once.

Upon completing my poker for the evening, I sent a withdrawal request to FTP. Upon waking this morning, my funds had been transferred and should be in my bank account shortly.

I spent the few FPP's I had on PokerStars this morning to get a knit beanie hat. It gets cold here in the winter, and I'll need a hat for my long treks over the border to the Indiana casinos.

I'm all cashed out. No more online poker for me - at least not until we see what happens when this bill is signed into law. I'm lucky to have poker rooms within an hour's drive from my home. I wish Empress hadn't closed their room. A 15 minute drive is so much nicer than an hour. But, that's beyond my control, as is the whole online gaming ban.

It's funny, since playing poker online is illegal in my state anyway. Why abide by the law now? I'm not quite so afraid that playing online poker will be what gets any of us in trouble, since that's not the focus of the gaming ban. It's the banner ad revenue and affiliate links that make some of us criminals now for aiding these online poker sites. That's what makes me nervous.

Oh well. Such is life. Reading through all of my old posts, I saw that I really did spend a lot of time at the casinos - and that was back before Empress had a room. I drove out to Indiana 2 or 3 times a week, for months. I'll just have to go back to doing that. And host more home games :)

Daniel Negreanu has weighed in on the online gaming ban.

In a nutshell: by his understanding, since Neteller is neither a US bank nor an online gaming site, players transferring money to Neteller are not breaking the law, and what Neteller does with your money after you transfer it there is untracable. His assumption is that because Neteller is not a US bank, the US will have no jurisdiction over what it does with the money it holds.

He also expects all privately held online poker sites to continue running, "business as usual," as he puts it.

Negreanu is very clear to say that this is all just his understanding of things, and that it's really all still up in the air until things are signed into law.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm playing what will probably be my last night of online poker. I've cashed out everyplace but Full Tilt, and in true Maudie fashion, it's all or nothing tonight. Not that I've got much left to put balls-to-the-wall. I spent most of my poker bankroll selling my old house and buying my new one. It's a sad night, really.

The Mookie tourney starts in 15 minutes or so on FTP. I'm watching opening night of the NHL hockey season in HD on my new TV, which is sweet. Hockey looks ungodly amazing in HD.

Soon, the law abiding citizens amongst us will be all cashed out from the online poker sites. One of these days, I'll have to cancel my affilitate memberships and dig through all of my old posts to remove any links to poker sites. That's not a task I'm looking forward to, but I surely don't want to just delete the contents of this blog and start over. This blog and the community of people I've come to know as a result of writing this blog and reading your blogs is a big part of who I am and who I've been the last couple years. There's no delete key that can remove these past couple years from memory, and there's no law that can break the bonds of friendship that so many of us have formed. Still, things won't be the same as they were. Maybe that's not the worst thing in the world, but it's change that I'm not looking forward to.

So, I encourage you all to come play the Wednesday night Mookie on FTP, this week in honor of DuggleBogey.

And accept the things we cannot change. And vote in the next election.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Full Tilt Poker has the most reasonable response to this online gaming ban that I've seen yet.

God I love FTP.

An Open Letter From Full Tilt Poker Regarding the State of Your Online Poker Experience

Spent some FTP points... I was debating between the duffel bag and the FTP plastic playing cards, but since I already have a set of Kem cards, I figured I'd get more use out of the duffel.


Now I don't have to go buy a jacket.

I think I might make a trip out to the casino tonight. Whaddya think?

What a crazy weekend for poker.

Saturday night, I met up with Armando, Kathie and the gang for a long-overdue rendition of the JackHammer game. Armando and Kat got a new house, and it's simply gorgeous, making for a fine backdrop for our poker festivities.

Joining us were Jen, Rob, Ed, Eric and Manda, and eventually Tom. I feel like I'm missing somebody. Please correct me if I'm wrong! It was good to see everybody, and though I didn't play a whole lot of hands due to the overpopulation of 10-3 in my pocket, I had a great time - even when my brother knocked me out on the bubble, calling my short-stacked all-in with Ace high. Bastard. (I had 8-6 of hearts). OK, fine, it was the right move. Grumble grumble grumble. The sleeping vagi-ant got me. He got Jen too, when he pulled a big blind straight flush out of his ass to destroy her Jack-high flush. Rob spent the evening "one cigarette away from being an idiot," and since most of us were drinking heavily, it was a game for the ages.

Congrats to Armando and Kat on the new house, and thanks for having us!

In other news... it seems that I'm going to have to start making the trek over to Indiana if I want to play any poker. The fine lawmakers of this country have pulled a move that only a tantrum-bound 6 year old could appreciate. When they couldn't get their anti-gaming legislation to grow legs on its own merit (maybe because it's completely idiotic, considering the various forms of gaming that are LEGAL - not to mention potential revenues that could be gathered by legalizing and regulating online gaming), they attached it to a bill that was most certain to pass - a port security bill. (Not that port security has anything to do with online gaming...) The president (intentionally written with a lowercase P, because he too is an idiot not worthy of the title) will surely sign it into law, and we will be unable to transfer money to and from online gaming companies. Party Poker and others have already announced that they will suspend all U.S. accounts once this is signed into law. It was fun while it lasted.

If I were involved in any of the companies in the UK that are suffering massive stock losses as a result of this U.S. legislation, I'd be mighty pissed at the short-sightedness and juvenile behavior of our government. It's not a proud day to be an American. In fact, I haven't felt "proud" of my government for a very long time.

So now, I'm wondering what people are doing. Are you all cashing out your online poker funds? I'm sure some sites will force withdrawals when they suspend U.S. accounts, but that mass exodus of money will surely hurt some sites. What if they don't have the money to refund to all of their U.S. players? It makes me think that initiating the withdrawal yourself is not a bad idea. Someone mentioned frequent player points - don't forget to cash those out! I was saving mine up for a Full Tilt Poker jersey. I was almost there. I guess I'll go order some random crap and buy my jersey on eBay (assuming that guy isn't a U.S. player). Damn. I probably won't even be able to get one on eBay.

Oh sad.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Wanna play some fantasy hockey? The One Eyed Jacks league is in its 2nd year. Come join us so I can kick all of your asses. All team management is done online. Email me for details - phlyersphan at gmail dott com

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ain't she gorgeous????

Isn't she gorgeous? (The TV, that is)

No broken screens here!!!

I have to get to work with the twist ties behind the equipment and clean up that mess, but otherwise I am in a state of pure HD bliss over here. Who cares if my FTP account is down to thirty bucks?? I HAVE A BIG SCREEN HDTV! w00t!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

For those of you who haven't invested in Poker Tracker, here's a web site that will replay and animate any hand you've played (cash game or tourney) on Poker Stars - free. Just copy and paste your hand history into it. No downloads required - behold the power of the web! Animated poker hand replayer

Barney's blog isn't a bad read, either! :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

This past Monday, I went to Tweeter and purchased my first ever big screen TV. I got a Mitsubishi 57" DLP projection HDTV - model WD57732 for the videophiles out there. I was absolutely giddy.

Today, the most gorgeous TV I've ever seen was delivered. As the guys took it off of the truck and out of the box, they noticed a slight problem.

Half of the screen had been smashed in, presumably when the TV was loaded onto the truck.

Moment of silence for the big screen.










They'll be back on Monday with a new TV. I think I finally understand what "blue balls" feel like.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Wow... I say all sorts of nice things about Full Tilt, and all I get in return is....

69 hands, -$169 at 3/6 LHE

I should have walked away after my very first hand. As a bit of history, I specifically chose a table where a known donkey-clown psychopathic maniac was seated, as he's always good for dropping a few hundo. I won't disclose his name here, though WillWonka mozied on over to my table and spent some time with my favorite FTP maniac as well.

My first hand: I raised preflop from late-middle position with 99 after it had been folded to me. Nutcase re-raised me, and I capped (hey, may as well get the money in in case I get lucky against this bozo). I flopped 2nd set on a board of 9-Q-2 rainbow. He bet. I raised. He 3-bet and I called. The turn came a 4, still rainbow. He checked, I bet, he raised, I called. Does this whackjob seriously have pocket Queens? The river came a ten. He bet. I saw the writing on the wall. The jackass was pushing his weight around all that time with a gutshot draw. Bastard's got KJ. I call. He sure did have KJ.

I reloaded and buckled in on my quest to get my money back from the joker, but alas, he hit and run, hanging around for a few more hands before blowing that pop stand. I watched my player list for a few minutes, hoping he'd sit down elsewhere so I could change tables, but no luck.

I didn't last long before my state of mind was so battered that I deemed it necessary to log off before I flushed my bankroll down the drain.

Oh well. Tomorrow, they say, is another day.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I hopped over to Poker Stars today for a little lunchtime change of pace (since my regular poker site is Full Tilt). Man... FTP has really spoiled me. It seems I am actively irritated by any software other than FTP. Full Tilt is smooth and slick... convenient and efficient... and the audio effects don't mimick nails down a chalkboard.

What can I say? I'm a Full Tilt Poker kinda girl.

Another poker nuisance this week... and all weeks really... I can never play in the WWdN tourneys, because I work on Tues and Thurs nights. Waaa. You peeps should make more Mon/Wed tourneys! Yeah! And how about on Full Tilt? LOL

OK I'm done amusing myself. It's time to go to work. Tomorrow, I'll be attending my 20th Dave Matthews Band show. I expect some insane inebriation. Until next time....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Reprinted from: How to dissuade yourself from becoming a blogger

What a buzz all the bloggers are making these days! It seems like just about everybody is pouring their musings into a text box. Are you feeling tempted to start a blog of your own? Here are some ways to bypass the trend.


  1. Find five completely random blogs, and read them daily for a month. After thirty days, you will absolutely dread your self-imposed requirement to read all that dreck. Any blog you create will most likely be on par with what you've been reading. Don't put anyone through that.
  2. Consider that your voice, even if it is truly a good one, is a tiny peep against the massive wave of tripe out there. The odds of anyone you don't already know finding your blog are low.
  3. Write on a regular basis in Wordpad instead. If that doesn't satisfy your urge, and you feel that you must post your blog online, then you might just be craving attention and validation--which you'll never truly find in a blog. If you give up on your Wordpad journal after about three days, you'll do the same with a blog that just takes up server space.
  4. Ask yourself if you really have the time to commit to a blog. What about that treehouse you wanted to build? Or the book you wanted to write? Or the car you wanted to fix up? Or the restaurant you wanted to take your wife to? Or the new career you wanted to pursue? Instead of writing about pretty much nothing, or whining about all the things you wish you were doing instead, start doing something that'd actually be worth writing about. And if it's really worth writing about, you'll be having too much fun doing it to tear yourself away from it.


  • If attention and validation is what you're looking for, know that you will get neither from blogging. As above, very few people will ever know that your blog (or you, by proxy) exists. Of those who do find it, a large percentage will be flamers and trolls, who will only post comments to you about how you suck. The remainder of comments posted to your blog will be sappy treacle, which you won't trust as being sincere anyway.
  • Consider writing on a wiki instead. Unlike most blogs, wikis like Wikipedia and wikiHow are read by millions of people each month. Several wikiHow authors receive "fan mail" messages every day from appreciative readers. In addition, many authors discover that they enjoy the wiki collaborative writing process more than writing in solitude.


  • The information you post on the Internet is likely to linger for years and years to come, as web pages are archived by "snapshot" services like the Wayback Machine. Once it's out there, you can't take it back. An employer running a Google search on your name years down the line might be turned off by your now documented obsession with your cat.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Just so ya know I'm still playing some poker...

Amidst the insanity of selling my house, buying a new one, and moving this weekend, I did manage to play a little bit on Full Tilt Poker. I took 2nd place in a $36 turbo NLHE sit n go, and managed to squeak a nice little 16BB win out of a couple 3/6 LHE tables over about an hour's time. I miss the casino poker room dearly, and hopefully as things settle down a bit around here, I'll have more time to make the trek out to Resorts in Indiana. I heard that Horseshoe is supposed to open a big poker room sometime... vague recollection puts it at the end of this year? Don't quote me on that.

The house closings and the move went well. I've done some painting around here, and have begun the laborious task of unpacking. I have a lot of shit for one person! The good news is, DirecTV was already here (so I'm set for NHL Center Ice and the start of the hockey season), and the cable company hooked up my cable internet on Friday. I've got the home network all set up as well as the Vonage phones, and my office is mostly put back together.

The fun part is yet to come: shopping! On the shopping list:

- A big screen HDTV (I'm going for a DLP projection TV and am debating between the 65" screen and the 50-something" screen)
- A new entertainment center
- A new sectional couch

I've got the furniture all picked out. I just have to go buy it :)

Back to unpacking...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lucky readers: today I share with you my "duh!" moment of the day.

Game: limit hold'em
Venue: online
Scenario: you are in the small blind and action has folded around to you


OK... so I've always kept in mind the strategy of raising when you're the BIG blind in this situation (as you'll have position on the small blind throughout the hand), but here's the thing with playing online... when multi-tabling, often people check their starting cards in the big blind and hit the check/fold button, thinking, "I'll see a flop if the pot is unraised, but it's not good enough of a hand to call a raise." I never thought much past that when I'm in the big blind. But today, I realized that since so many people click that check/fold button and shift their attention to their other table, a raise from the small blind triggers that insta-fold. If the big blind player isn't watching the table and uses thost auto-action checkboxes, you win.

I know. It's so obvious. I've now stopped using that auto-act check/fold button on hands that I might like to play heads-up. I still use it for hands I won't play no matter what, but otherwise I'll wait to act in turn - just in case action folds around to the small blind.

I had a fantastic 40 minutes at 3/6 today, nearly tripling my money. I'm wearing some lucky 4-leaf clover earrings that my mom got me from Ireland, and they've been granting me crazy luck! First my win Friday night, then a decent profit online last night, and today a SWEET win! I'm heading over to the Diamond game in a little bit... let's hope my luck continues! Mama needs a new couch! :)

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

As you might have noticed, it's been a cricket haven around here since the WPBT Summer Classic. August 2006 has been a pretty crazy month for me. It's going to go out like a lion, too - but that's OK.

When I got home from Vegas, I put the finishing touches on a deep-clean of my house, did a little staging and put my house on the market. You see - I'm currently in an adjustable rate mortgage, and I'm only locked in for another couple years. I want to lock in while the rates are still reasonable, and lock in for 30 years. Problem is, I've outgrown my house. When I investigated what kind of sales price I might get for this place (where I've lived for about 4 1/2 years now), I was floored. Cashing in on my equity to pay off some debt, invest a bit, and buy a bigger place was a no-brainer, and in the end, my monthly expenses will be less than they are now. Win-win.

I got 2 contracts on my house the first day it was on the market. I picked one and put up the sold sign. I'd already looked at some new places and had my heart set on a townhouse on a golf course, with a creek and the course as my back yard. My realtor said it's a great course (I don't golf), so it's not likely to get bulldozed and replaced with a WalMart. Sold. The rest of August was spent shmoozing with appraisers and home inspectors, and haggling with my buyers over miscellaneous crap. They ended up being the buyers from hell, but in light of the fact that this process is almost over, I'm going to try and stay upbeat in hopes that it will carry into some good karma and a smooth closing.

I close on my sale and my purchase at the end of this month. I'm moving the same day. It's gonna be a crazy day. I hired movers, though, because I'm too old to deal with that crap. I've learned the value of service in my old age.

I also went back to work mid-August. I've just finished my first week of classes. It's been a bit chaotic on that end, too, but since this is the weekend, I don't feel like rehashing anything that might bring me down. I'll leave work at work, for once. has been a fantastic experience as well, and is the spearhead of a handful of web site projects I've been doing this month in my side-business. Nothing like being so busy your head might explode!

In terms of poker, I haven't made it out to the casinos this month. Actually, I took a cash advance from my bankroll to fix up my house to sell it. I plan to replenish from the proceeds of my house sale next week. I've been limited to online poker, of course at Full Tilt. I was doing quite well sticking to the "no cash games" rule in online poker. At the donkey limits (I play between 2/4 and 3/6 online), I just can't seem to outrun the luck of the fishes, despite the fact that my Poker Tracker stats are precisely where I want them to be. I haven't hit the 10,000 hand mark since my hard drive crashed last spring, though, so I need a bigger sample size to know if I'm really just getting unlucky. I crave limit hold'em, though, so despite the fact that the place I'm profitable online is in sit-n-go's, I can't help but sit down at the limit tables every so often.

Last night, I took down first place (out of 10) at my cousin's weekly drunken home game. I've been playing nearly every week there the entire summer, and this was my first win. The game is frequented by players who will routinely find themselves all in at the river, but have not yet looked at their cards. It's hard to outrun the lucky ones. The ironic thing last night was that I showed up without any cash on me, so I announced at the outset that I was going to win because that's the only way I wouldn't owe anybody money. I should show up penniless more often. It came down to me and my cousin Tracy. Luckily for me, she was quite drunk and I was getting quite lucky, so things went down pretty quickly.

Despite the fact that I still have a ridiculous amount of packing to do, I'm going to head over to the Diamond Game for a little poker action tomorrow afternoon. If today goes as planned, I'll be almost done packing. Then I can finish up Sunday morning, and hopefully spend Monday doing one last deep clean on the house. Tuesday and Wednesday I have to work, and the buyers will likely do a final walkthrough on Wednesday sometime, so I need to have the place ready to go by then. Thursday is The Big Day.

Here's hoping for a heavenly experience with the buyers from hell! I'll be back on the felt after Labor Day weekend - I promise!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Hmmm... OK don't read that subject line literally...

Poker bloggers extraordinaire, Bobby Bracelet and Donkey Puncher, have put together a HUGE package for your eBay bidding pleasure. It's so HUGE that I can't even tell you what's included.

Check it out and BID NOW on eBay!

The Bobby Bracelet/DP HUGE Package

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

You know the drill... fight cancer, help an adorable little girl, get some cool poker swag... BID NOW on eBay!

Even if you can't bid, you should at least go check out the listing for the autographed photo of Carlos Mortensen. Trust me.

This time up, Bobby Bracelet has procured a plethora of autographed CardPlayer Magazine covers from various poker pro's and hotties - hotties for the ladies, this time (and I ain't talkin' 'bout TJ!). These are framed and make great collector's pieces.

Antonio "The Magician" Esfandiari

Michael Gracz

Erick "E-Dog" Lindgren

TJ Cloutier

Carlos Mortensen

Daniel Negreanu

David Williams

We also have two featured auctions:

First - an autographed cowboy hat from Kenna James!! No kidding, folks. This one is sweet!

Next - an autographed Full Tilt Poker jersey from Layne Flack. This auction also includes an autographed and framed cover feature photo from CardPlayer Magazine.

Last but not least... we have two more CardPlayer DVD packages to auction off: one with CardPlayer T-shirts and the other with Hellmuth's DVD and the Poker for Dummies DVD. Great gifts for new poker players!

The poker world has been very kind to donate such great items for this cause. Please be so kind as to BID HIGH and help us fight cancer and help secure little Peyton's future. Thanks!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Won a $10 SnG on Full Tilt tonight. My eyelids were drooping as I fired up FTP, so I'm not even entirely sure why I played... I was literally nodding off throughout the heads-up match! It was a good match though - swings back and forth, with some actual poker being played. Once again, I cannot recall my opponent's name.

I still have to get around to writing up my Vegas reports. Sorry guys and gals! I've been pretty busy getting my house on the market for sale since I got home from Sin City. Send me some good house mojo vibes if you have any to spare - it's been a crazy weekend and I hope to be signing some buying-and-selling papers on Monday! :)

Friday, July 28, 2006

I played a bit tonight on Full Tilt (thanks in part to the handsome new picture of Gus Hansen on the main lobby screen.... yum!) I managed to win one of those 6 handed NLHE $6 sit n go's where you win a $26 token. I like having tokens. They are nifty.

Yesterday I got crushed in back to back $20 SnG's, so I stepped back tonight to mingle with the scoobys. It paid off, and I actually enjoyed the heads-up match quite a bit. I always intend to come here and give kudos to my opponent, and for the life of me I can never remember their names. Oh well. Nice match, guy who was playing around 11pm tonight!

Just wanted to let ya's know that I haven't turned into an ebay entrepreneur. Still playing a little poker - though I haven't made it to the local card room in what seems like ages, thanks to them closing down Empress. (Yes, I'm still whining about that). Frown. One of these days I'll make it to Indiana, but not likely soon.

Why? 'Cuz I'm selling my house and movin' on up! Buying a bigger place that's closer to friends and family. Good stuff. It sure is keeping me busy. In fact, I have another showing in less than 12 hours. I'd better go get some zzz's. Night all!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

C'mon, folks! Get your butts over to and bid on some cool stuff to benefit an adorable little girl who lost her mother. FIGHT CANCER! It sucks and we can beat it IN OUR LIFETIME - with *your* help.

Bidding ends tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

If you missed out on the cool swag we auctioned off in Round 1 of the Auctions for Peyton, then hop to it and get in on the action in Round 2!

Here's what we've got up on eBay for your bidding pleasure:

CardPlayer package including Phil Hellmuth's DVD and Poker for Dummies DVD, and a 1 year CardPlayer Magazine subscription

A Duke basketball cap autographed by head coach Krzyzewski -

An autographed copy of Annie Duke's book in hardcover, plus her DVD

An autographed copy of Annie Duke's book in softcover, plus 2 DVD's including her Girl's Guide

A 2 hour poker lesson with poker pro Robert Mizrachi

Dinner and poker chat in Manhattan with poker pro Steve Zolotow

A package including a 1 Year Subscription to CardPlayer magazine, Phil Hellmuth's DVD, CardPlayer t-shirts and more

2 Tickets to attend Full Tilt Poker's WSOP 2006 Gala Event at PURE Nightclub at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas

Invidation to attend Howard Lederer's 4th Annual WSOP (World Series of Beer) and Karaoke Championship in Las Vegas

Let's get it on! Support the cause. If you'd rather not bid, you can always send donations directly via Thanks!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Donate to the fundraising drive to help out a little girl named Peyton Novoa and to fund research for small cell ovarian cancer. Place your bids now!

WHAT: Full Tilt Poker WSOP Gala Event
WHERE: Pure Nightclub - Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
WHEN: July 26, 2006 at 10pm


Have you ever wanted to attend an event with professional poker players and celebrities? Well, here’s your chance! We have two of these invites to auction off, and you are not going to be disappointed.

You and a guest will be living the high life as guests at Full Tilt Poker’s Gala Event for this years World Series of Poker. Held at Pure, an amazing nightclub located in Caesers, mingle with professional poker players and celebrities while enjoying an open bar stocked with premium liquors and food as well. In case it interests you, the Pussycat Dolls will be there as well.

Just in case you’re the timid type when it comes to events like this, Gavin Smith - World Poker Tour Player of the Year and an all around great guy - has offered to introduce you to whoever you’d like.

Timing on this is tight because we just became aware of these generous gifts from Full Tilt and Gavin Smith, so get your bid in high and start planning your big night out!

We will ensure that the winning bidders will have their tickets waiting for them in the Full Tilt Poker suite located onsite at the World Series of Poker, Rio Casino & Hotel.


Brought to you by the fine fellow with Huge Junk Confirmed Ad Infinitum, our favorite Spaceman, Gavin Smith, and Full Tilt Poker. (Me, I'm just the computer geek amongst us).

Monday, July 17, 2006

Got home from Vegas last Tuesday and left for Traverse City, Michigan on Wednesday, then hung out on a lake for a few days. I'm home now (finally) and will turn my WPBT Summer Classic notes into a bona fide series of trip reports one of these days....

In the meantime, kudos to Absinthe and Zeem on winning WSOP Main Event seats!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hey Easycure - if you're the same easycure that bid on stuff in the auctions, YOU RULE! First blogger to bid, woohooooo! :)


Whew! I almost sabatoged the smooth beginning to my trip, but Southwest Airlines has impressed me with their ability to serve my dumb ass. I'll stop ripping on them, I promise!

In my mind, my flight was to leave at 6pm, and in a silly act of defiance, I decided - screw that "get to the airport 2 hours early" crap! (I'm usually quite religious about that rule). So, I'd planned to get there a little over an hour early... Except that in reality, my flight was departing at 5:35pm. D'oh! I drove as fast as I could through rush hour traffic, and arrive to the check-in counter at 5:05pm. They marked my bag as a "late check in" and told me that it may or may not make it on the flight.

Long story short... My bag was the first off the carosel! Wheeee!

I just called April H (my roomie for the weekend) and she too has safely arrived. I'm on the shuttle bus waiting yo head to Excalibur.

Let's get this party started!

Hot off the presses! Get your sweet poker swag NOW and benefit a great cause. Visit or bid via eBay below. Auctions will be live through the morning of July 13, 2006. Place your bids today!

Items include:

Questions? Catch up with me in Vegas this weekend - I'm leaving in T-minus 3 hours!!! :)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm leaving for the airport for Vegas in 17 hours and counting. Squeeeeeeee!!

Potawatomi in Milwaukee kicked my ass last Sunday. I was flopping ridiculous monster hands. Pocket pair? Here's a set! Suited connectors? Have a straight, and a flush draw to go with it! I even turned some boats.... but the calling stations were getting lucky, and it was one of those days were I wished I was sitting no-limit instead of at the 5/10 limit holdem table.

Such is life at the poker table. I went on that day to see a wicked DMB show, so life was good. Still is, actually, since I'll be in Vegas less than 24 hours from now.

Bring it on, bloggers!!! :)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I'm up in Milwaukee for a couple Dave Matthews Band shows (as mentioned previously), and... well hell, there's a poker room 15 minutes up the road at Potawatomi! How can I *not* play? I just called and got my name on the list for 5/10 holdem. Wheeee! Let's make some money to bring to Vegas!!!

I had good luck here the first time I played... here's hoping for some more! :)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I'm off to Milwaukee to see Dave Matthews Band at Alpine Valley today and tomorrow. I'll be back Monday to post some giddy squealy crap about how excited I am to be leaving for Vegas on Thursday... until then:

Happy Canada Day!


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hey Ladies -

Is anyone planning on playing in the LIPS satellites on Friday night at Gold Coast (July 7th)? (Ladies WSOP event is on Sunday). $100 satellite with one seat per 10 players, 200 players max.

I'm debating.... drunken storming of the castle, or a chance to play in the WSOP cheap.

I'm not a big fan of ladies-only events, though... and that's part of what makes me want to get drunk with bloggers instead :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Just when I get all famous around town, I head out to lovely Springfield, IL (*cough*ahem* sarcasm) for a week. I hear that in my absence, Empress Casino's poker room has ceased to exist! I knew they would miss me, but damn! :) Actually, there's nothing smiley about it, because it's rather inconvenient for me to get out to Indiana to play, with I-80 the construction-demolished mess that it is. Losing Empress will definitely put a cramp in my style.

Not this week, though - I'll be down here in the land of Lincoln, where the sidewalks roll up at 7pm every night and there is absolutely nothing to do but drink. I'll catch up with ya's by this time next week :)

I've got some free Party bonus money to clear, which I may or may not have comments on. I'll keep ya's posted. Until then... 15 days till I touchdown in Vegas!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Poker Gnome made a good point in his comment to yesterday's post. Playing poker with a cold probably isn't the smartest thing to do. I don't think the cold affected my play really, but I sure was miserable.

Resorts is a nice place to play at. I forgot how nice it is to have automatic card shufflers and professional poker dealers. Not that the dealers at Empress aren't professional dealers, but they do not specialize in poker; they're dealers from other table games cross-trained to deal poker, and since they don't do it day in and day out on a full time basis, the average skill level (as compared to Resorts) is glaringly low. It's not their fault, of course. That's just how Empress does things. I must say, though, that after playing for months at Empress, the hands were coming at me so fast at Resorts that I almost felt rushed!

Felicia has recently posted about looking at the weaknesses in our own poker games. I was thinking last night that one of my biggest leaks is paying off hands when I know I am beat. In loose donkey limit games, sometimes this just has to be done, but I'm talking more about paying off a hand when I think I'm beat on the turn or even the flop - not those hands where you think you just got rivered and have one bet to pay off to see it.

Case in point: I was in a hand last night with a very tight and predictable older woman. I flopped top pair, good kicker (KQ in my hand, K on board, no preflop raise). The flop had 2 clubs, and I had none. I bet out, and the tight player called. The turn brought a third club. I bet out, and she raised me. I knew with certainty that I was beat; this woman almost NEVER raised, and when she did, she held the nuts. I'd seen her raise twice that night; once was when she hit a Broadway straight, and again when she flopped a set. She didn't slow-play, either. Very predictable that way. I was beat.

So, what did I do? I called her raise, and check-called the river, just to see it.

Why? I didn't need the information. There are occasions where it can be beneficial later to pay someone off to see their hand - to pay for information. I didn't need the info. I was beat. She had the flush. Of course she did! The nut flush, even.

I think this leak is probably aggravated by the fact that sometimes I rush my plays, making gut-reaction-decisions instead of thinking them through. That's not the whole solution though, because I know there are times when I'm consciously deciding to pay people off when I shouldn't. It's that "need to know." I need to find a way to squelch it.

I saw a lot of flops last night. I had a ridiculous number of small pocket pairs, but wasn't hitting flops. It was one of those nights where my 20BB was felted pretty quickly, and my 10BB rebuy enabled me to get myself back up to 20BB. In the end, I lost 10BB - $96. Had I not felt so crappy, I probably could have ground my way back to even, but after 4 hours I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore, especially knowing I still had an hour drive home ahead of me.

The games at Resorts are different than Empress. My instinct would be to say that the play is "better," but that is not the right word. Play preflop is equally loose, compared to Empress. Six or more people see every flop (at a 10 handed table). However, there are fewer calling stations post-flop. Monsters don't get paid off multi-way. The pots are much smaller. More players at Resorts are capable of folding marginal hands. Play is also generally more aggressive, which tends to thin the fields. The average cost to see a flop is likely higher at Resorts; players are much more willing to raise.

I haven't yet decided if I like the games there or not. On one hand, you more often are told where you are in a hand by the more aggressive players. (Listening is a whole nother story!) On the other hand, it does cost more to see flops, and if your cards aren't hitting, that's a ding to the stack. Also, with the starting hand selection criteria being so loose (generally any suited ace or face card, any pair, any connected cards - suited or not, and any face card with a kicker higher than 6), it's hard to know what you're up against, as opposed to a solid game, where you can more easily deduce what your opponents' holdings are.

I think the players at Empress are more fishy, on average, than Resorts. Empress is a much more loose-passive game.

I'm thinking I might head to Empress this evening. Yes, I still have a cold, but am feeling much better today than I was yesterday. The Day-Quil is actually working today, whereas it really wasn't yesterday. I slept like a rock for 10 hours last night, too, which helped. We'll see.

I played a $20 SnG on Full Tilt this afternoon. Finished 2nd. I made a great battle heads-up, but couldn't seal the deal and got beat fair and square. I have a great desire to play ring games online, but over time, I am just not profitable at them. I'm break-even at best. At the low limits, I just think that there are SO many bad players that it is nearly impossible to outrun their luck. I've had this experience as high as 3/6. I prefer live play so much to online play that I can't bring myself to invest any significant portion of my bankroll online. However, I have a good success rate with tourneys and SnG's online. So, I've decided that I will only play SnG's and tourneys online, and keep my ring games in the casinos. Sometimes though the urge is overwhelming. Ahhh well. I'm going to try to stick to this decision, anyway.

That's all my news... I'm off to decide whether to head to Empress...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Interesting - I see that the actual posting screen for Blogger now has word verification. I guess that's good - anything to combat spam is A-OK in my book. I've been fighting the spam wars on, and beating those spam-posting bots is a never-ending challenge it seems.

I headed out to Empress on Thursday night. It was a strange night, to say the least. I got moved to the main game before I'd even played a hand at the feeder table, and when I was seated, I found to my right a girl I'd seen there before. Looking at her, I'd say she reminds me of me, but her demeanor at the table is nothing like mine, and we aren't too similar in personality as far as I could tell. I played at her table once before, and she's got an edge to her. Whereas I try to blend in and not bring attention to myself (anymore than is already drawn by the fact that I'm a woman in a room of mostly men), she's outwardly aggressive. She throws her chips into the pot with authority. She is very "audible" - chatty in a typically sarcastic way. Even her compliments come across as critical. It would be too harsh to say that I don't "like" her, because this act could very well be her schtick. I would however say that she isn't the most fun or pleasant person to sit next to. While she was never rude to me, she was far from friendly.

That left me with the grandpa on my left to talk to. I'd sat next to him earlier in the week, and he's a nice old man. I've played with him a handful of times. He's friendly, and is very encouraging - pulling out the ol' "you'll get 'em next time!" speeches when I fold or lose a hand, and cheering me on when I win. I hope that when I'm his age, I still see life from a positive perspective. The girl to my right could take some lessons from gramps.

As for the poker... that's where things got weird. I spent the better part of 3 hours folding my hands, with the exception of 2 hands very early on, where I lost a flopped straight to a runner-runner flush (gramps beat me out! He was calling me down with bottom pair, K3 of diamonds. I forgive him though - I got my money back later), and another where my AJ lost to AK. (My own fault... AJs is a hand to be mighty careful with from early position. The small blind had raised after I'd limped UTG, and we both flopped the Ace). Damn my nemesis hand!

As I spent the next few hours folding, I started counting how many times I saw the hand 9-7. Ya know how everybody has a favorite "junk" hand? Once upon a time, I tried to make T-8 my favorite hand, but it was a ridiculous attempt. You can't "make" a hand your favorite. It just has to become your favorite, through some incident or streak of luck. So, I don't really have a favorite hand. (Just a nemesis - that damn Ace Jack!) I was folding a lot of 9-7's, that's for sure.

Most of the game, I was down somewhere between $50-100. I'd win a small pot here and there to keep me from blinding lower, but after 3 hours, gramps was saying that he was tired of folding, and I told him that I was just hoping to pull back to even so I could go home. The cards just weren't there for me.

Around that time, my brother called me to ask if I could babysit my 3-month-old niece. I said, sure... I mentioned I was playing cards, and when he asked how I was doing, I said, "Not so good - cards are cold." He said, "Well, here's a little mojo for ya! Go get 'em!" As I put away my cell phone and returned to the table, I thought to myself, "I'm gonna see if those 9-7's have any mojo for me. They sure are coming around enough..." I figured I'd seek out my next 9-7 suited and play 'em like Aces. Why not, right?

Sure enough, a couple hands later, I found the 9-7 of clubs in middle position. Early position had raised, and my instinct was to throw the hand away - especially for 2 bets cold! I couldn't get my brother's mojo donation out of my head though, and I shook my head and called. I looked at the guy who had raised and said, "I'm only playing this because my brother said so!" He laughed, but seemed more concerned about the girl to my right, who had also called.

Six people saw a flop of J-9-x. The raiser (sitting 4 to my right) bet out and I called (along with a few others). The turn was an Ace. Action checked all the way around. I had no flush draw, and was ready to throw the hand away if a bet came out. The free river card was a 7 - hallelujah! The raiser bet out, and I raised him. Sure, there was a goofy straight out there (with my now-non-favorite 10-8), but I didn't fear it from the raiser. A couple people paid me off, including the raiser. My two pair held up. The raiser had Kings. Very juicy pot. I was back to even.

The raiser, having heard me say earlier that if I got back to even, I was leaving, poked fun at me and asked when I was going. I had 3 hands until the big blind got to me, and I said to him, "3 more hands and I'll be on my way!" He was surprised, saying that he thought I was kidding.

The very next hand, I saw AQo. It was raised in front of me, and I decided to see a flop. The flop came A-x-x, and the raiser (the guy two to my right) sighed. He's either got AK and is acting it up, I figured, or he had an underpair. He bet out the flop, and did so a bit dramatically with his chips, giving them that extra flick forward into the pot. That's it; I pegged him for an underpair. I raised his bet, and of course being the "cheap" flop bet, got a few callers. The turn came a Q, giving me 2 pair but putting 2 to the flush onboard. He checked, I bet, and some people called (including him). The river came a blank, and he checked again. I bet, and everybody folded. Again, I was reluctantly paid off, and as he flipped his cards, he said, "Your Ace is good." I turned up my 2 pair and he said dejectedly, "Shit, even better... nice hand." /EDIT - He had pocket Kings. I've just learned that this guy was Sloejack!!! No kidding... ya shoulda said HEY! :) Sorry for the outflop... /end edit

In two hands, I'd made a $250 swing. I was up $170 on top of my buy in. I played my last hand before the blinds reached me, and threw away 10-3. Of course, the flop came 10-3-3, and I thought to myself, "Hey, maybe this is the beginning of a rush? Maybe I should stick around?"

Nope! I've had 3 winning sessions in a row since taking that few weeks off from playing, and I'm happy with that. Winning 17 big bets in 3 hours is a nice win rate, even though it was more realistically like winning 17 big bets in 7 minutes! I racked up my chips and headed on my way, after apologizing to the two guys I had busted for hitting-and-running on them. They were cool about it, but that may have been in part due to the unintentional cleavage I'd been showing all night. I'd worn a tank top with a hoodie on over it, but since I like to lean forward on the rail of the table, the end result was... cleavage. Honestly, I was uncomfortable about it all night, and will be sure to avoid wearing summer tops to the poker room in the future. But - whatever works, right? I don't often use femininity as a weapon at the poker table (since my typical outfit consists of hockey jerseys or hoodies, jeans, and my Chuck Taylors), but I guess I'm not completely above that tactic, either.

My bankroll is now officially higher than it has ever been. I'm still technically under-rolled for playing 5/10, but not by much. I'm considering sticking to 5/10 in Vegas this July. I'm pretty excited :)

In other news (to cap off the weirdness of the week) - one of my cats jumped on my head the other night, resulting in a bloody horror-story-like mess that left me with a black eye. That was fun - but it's kinda cool to have a black eye :) And, my 3-month-old niece came home from the hospital today, after a brief scare. The doctor thought she might have pneumonia, but her lungs look clear and her fever broke. So - all is looking better on that front. Spending yesterday in the children's hospital, though, seems to have given me the sniffles, and I'm working on fighting off a cold.

I'm thinking about breaking my "no poker on Saturdays" rule and heading to Resorts (since Empress doesn't spread poker on Saturdays). I'm pretty badly tied to my Kleenex box, but they do allow iPods... and I am really in the mood to play some cards. I'm rolling pretty good right now, and I'd like to ride it out. Whaddya think? Should I go, sniffles and all?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I'm booked.

I'm flying Southwest out of Midway/Chicago (ewww but it was like $40 cheaper than any of the O'Hare options and I'm all for saving forty bucks).

July 6-11 (Thurs thru Tues)

I'm rooming with April at Excalibur.

Bring it on!!!!!!!!


Testing, testing.

Is this thing on?

Hey, guys! It's been a while, eh? Seems like it to me. I haven't played poker in 3 weeks. First, I had final exams week at work, followed by the annual graduation ceremony. Then came my niece's baptism. Then, I went to lovely Champaign-Urbana, IL to U of I for a conference on instructional technology. Next up, I headed down to the Indianapolis area to see Dave Matthews Band do a two-night stand at Deer Creek. (The second night included front row tickets, which - if I start blogging about - will take up the entire content of this post, as it was so effing amazing).

Now, I'm back! Yay! 3 weeks without poker. Has anything changed?

Monday afternoon I headed up to Empress. It felt strange. I was definitely out of my routine and almost felt conspicuous walking into the casino. I was put quickly at ease when I walked up to the poker room, and Mary, the floor person, said, "Hey, Shelly - go get some chips!" I admit it. I'm a sucker for the whole Cheers thing. I just want to play where everybody knows my name. :)
Many of the regulars I'd become used to seeing weren't around, which I found odd for a Monday. Where was everybody? The poker room practically had crickets chirping, and for most of the time I was there, they only had one 5/10 limit holdem game going. I don't think I've ever seen it so slow. I did see, though, that starting Tuesday night, there were 2 weekly "special" games going. Tuesdays would be a $500 max NL holdem game with 5/10 blinds, and Wednesdays would have a 20/40 limit holdem game. Interesting.

The action on Monday night was passive and uneventful. It took about 4 hours to double my buy-in, and upon doing so, I decided to cash out and head home (mostly because I was bored out of my skull).

Tuesday, I read that Baz was heading out to Empress for a final send-off to Vegas, so of course I had to join him! I got there around5:30pm, and Baz had not yet arrived. However, who should I find sitting at the 5/10 feeder table but Derek, a regular at the Diamond game (the local home game I play in). No kidding! Derek got moved to the main game just as I sat down to the feeder table, but it was still cool to run into him. Then, one of the regulars started talking to me at the feeder game, and much like running into a brick wall, I put 2+2 together and realized the guy was Derek's dad. I've probably played with him a hundred times at Empress, and a bunch of times at the Diamond game, but I never made the connection between the two events. Yup, I'd been playing with Derek's dad Dick for months and didn't realize it. He made the same connection after he saw me talking to Derek, and we had a good laugh over it.

Tuesday went really well. It's hard to have a bad day when you start your first orbit with pocket 4's and end up making quads on the turn. I got paid off by 2 or 3 different people, to boot. Crazy. I was outkicking people with my top pair hands, and taking those down as well. Within an hour and a half, I doubled my buy-in (I sit down with $200 for the 5/10 game).

Not long after, Baz showed up. He was called to the table just as I was moving to the main game. I told him the seat was good, and wished him luck as I moved to the next table over. I got seated next to Dick again. His chip stack was up and down like a yo-yo, but like he said - he "plays a lot more hands" than I do. Very observant :)

I was able to add another $100 to my stack over the next hour or two, thanks to 2 consecutive hands. My big blind special was an 8-3 offsuit. I flopped a full house with a board of 8-3-3, and a loose-aggressive guy at the other end of the table raised me all the way. (He flopped his trip 3's). At showdown, he goes, "Wow, you outflopped me!" (as if betting into someone who outflopped you is as brilliant as betting into someone you've got beat the whole way only to get rivered). I said, "Yup. Big blind special." He said, "Well, that King on the river almost gave ME a full house!" I stared quizzically in his direction. If you've got Q3 in your hand, how does a King almost give you a full house? Ladies and gents, send a Scooby Snack down to the guy in seat 4!

The small blind then brought me 7-5 suited. With 6 limpers ahead of me, I completed the bet to see a flop. Sure enough, I flopped 2 pair. I bet it all the way, and it held up. Wheee! Paid off again. I went on a mini-rush of sorts, scooping small pots and causing Scooby at the other end of the table to mumble to his friend, "Uh oh, what does she have this time?" every time I entered a pot. I don't think he realized that those two big hands were in the blinds. It's not like I make a habit of playing 8-3o. He wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Next thing you know, Scooby requested a seat change to come sit next to me! UGH. Ya know, I'm friendly at the poker table if there are friendly people around me, but I am not the kind of person who really enjoys talking a lot while playing. I like to sit quietly, observe the table and the hands, and maybe have the occasional conversation with my tablemates. Scooby, on the other hand, constantly jabbered on and on, criticizing everybody's play and trying to give me info on everyone else's "tells." Whatever. "Check this out, sometimes that guy sniffles when he bets! I think he's got it!" Yeah... I sniffle too. It's called SEASONAL ALLERGIES. To make things worse, this guy was all touchy feely - for example, smacking me on the shoulder when he accurately called out the next card on the board. Dude... I don't know you. DON'T TOUCH ME! I'm a freak about maintaining my personal space with strangers. It's hard to do at an 11-handed table, but I manage.

Scooby started driving me nuts, and as the 4 hour marked rolled around, the table had become quite weak-tight. Nobody was leaving, and we hadn't seen any new blood in ages. There was no way Baz was going to move to the main game anytime soon, as he was way down the list and there was just no turnover on my table. We all started trading back and forth the same 20-dollar pots, so I decided to head on out. I was up $307 and was plenty happy with that. I bid farewell to Baz and wished him luck, and headed to the cage.

Good times! Two profitable sessions in a row was a nice welcome back to the felt. Today, unfortunately, I have to go in to work to deal with the aftermath of a catastrophic data loss to our course management system server. It's going to put me in a highly irritable mood, which will either make for great poker tonight, or will require that I avoid the poker table like the plague. (Yesterday's horrible mood made for some nice aggressive play on my part!) I hope to deal with this mess this week and then put it out of my mind so that I can enjoy my summer vacation!

I promise it won't be another 3 weeks before I write again :) Thanks for sticking with me!

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Monday, May 29, 2006

I was in the process of writing a post about how it has been a long 16 days since I last played any form of poker, and how that's the longest I've gone without playing since I started (in fall 2003). I was announcing my excitement over my plans to go grab a bite to eat and head over to Empress to play cards, when all of a sudden my power went out. (Thunderstorm)

Now, I am a prisoner in my own home, as my car is in the garage, and my garage door is powered by that magic juice that I so take for granted - electricity.

Now I'm thumbing away in misery on my Blackberry, after having called the electric company to report the outage. The have no information on restoration at this time.

I know there's some way to disengage the power thingy on the garage door, but I'm not quite sure how to do it, nor am I certain I'd be able to lift the door anyway. My luck, I'd get out only to find that the casino lost power too. (It's 15 minutes away and was likely subject to the same storm that blew through here).

Now I will sit, listening to the warning beep of my computer's uninterruptible power supply and the ticking of the only battery powered timepiece in my house - my Philadelphia Flyers wall clock.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Today concludes my semester of work. For the most part, I have the summer off (except for having to go in for a few days through early June).

NO poker was played this week, unless you consider the video persuasion.

Wednesday night, I headed out with the girls to Empress Casino to do everything but play poker. I knew I was going to blow a buy-in of my bankroll, but had great fun playing nickel slots and quarter video poker.

The last few Friday nights have been spent at my cousin's house playing drunken "poker" (if you can call it that) with some friends. Tonight will be no different.

I'm busy this weekend with a graduation ceremony to attend and my niece's christening, so no poker will be had. Then, I'll be out of town Mon-Fri next week at a conference for work.

I'm already twitching from withdrawl....

I'll try and post something worthwhile, but if you don't hear from me till next weekend, at least you'll know why! Cya's on the flip side...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Many of you have probably already read about a little girl named Peyton Novoa. She's 2 1/2 years old, and lost her mother recently to small cell ovarian cancer.

I've been working with Spaceman and Bobby Bracelet (RIP One2Many) to put together a web site for Peyton. We're working to raise money to help Peyton and her family through this tough and tragic loss. Several poker pro's have already contributed to the cause. Gavin Smith and Phil Hellmuth have made generous cash donations of $2,000 a piece for Peyton. Phil Ivey, Michael Mizrachi, Mark Seif, and others have donated items for an upcoming auction to benefit the cause. I hear that a poker tournament with Gavin Smith is in the works.

Please help us to spread the word by posting a banner or link on your blog. Save a copy of the banner below, or drop me an email if you'd like a snippet of HTML code that you can paste into your blog template to display the banner. (Email - phlyersphan at gmail dot com).

You can also make cash donations via PayPal through the web site. Help us reach our goal of raising $100,000 for Peyton. Thanks!

See Card Player Magazine's article about Poker Community Opens Its Heart

More in the "new blog pimpage" department...

Check out JusDealEm over at

Chicks with chips... always a good thing!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Well, I'll be damned.... my friend Jim is now a blogger.

Railbird's Nest -

Pretty soon I'm gonna need two hands to count all of the Chicago bloggers!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Originally uploaded by phlyersphan.
Ed's not the only one winning these micro-rebuys on PokerStars... my friend Jim (host of the Nice Table games) won one too.

Damn, I could really use one of these! Congrats, Jim :)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

My friend Jim of the "Nice Table Games" hosted a tourney last night - NL holdem, $20 buy in with rebuys the first hour and one optional addon. 25% of the proceeds went to sponsor Jim and his wife in the American Cancer Society walk-n-ride marathon event.

Baz and his wife made it out to the game, and it was nice to finally meet Bob's better half :) We had a starting field of 13 or 14 people, and Jim purchased some software that managed the seat selection, prize pool, and blind timers. That was much nicer than dealing with egg timers all night.

Early on, I thought things were going well. I found myself raising preflop when I should, which shouldn't be a big deal, but I've spent the last year of my life playing weak-tight in tourneys with this particular crowd (for reasons unbeknownst to me). I was pleasantly surprised to see that I'd broken out of that shell, without even really thinking about it. I flopped a monster hand against Baz when my KQ flopped a boat of with KQQ. Baz bet it the whole way, much to my puzzlement, and when his river bet put me nearly all in and I pushed, he folded. (What'd ya have, Baz? I'm thinking a K?)

I was beating Mike (to my right) out of a lot of small pots. My pair of 5's rivered the ass end of a straight in a mostly checked-down pot, and I raised his bet on the end (which he called). Pocket 10's held up against his smaller pocket pair. I outkicked him in another pot, A8 vs A6. It didn't stop Mike from playing in pots with me, though.

Things started to go south when I hit AA for the second hand in a row. (The first hand, everyone folded to my preflop raise). The second time around, I raised it up again (4x BB was about the standard for the table, except for Dan the Man, who preferred raises in the 8-10x range). Mike called, and we saw a flop of A-x-x, 2 hearts. He pushed all in on the short stack, and I called. He turned over 10-7 hearts for the flush draw. At least the poker gods were quick with their delivery; the turn was a third heart, giving Mike the flush, and the river failed to pair the board, so I lost a chunk of change.

Next up was my JJ. I raised and found a caller in Baz. The board came undercards. I bet, he called. The turn brought a K. Based on the smooth-call preflop, I really didn't put Baz on a King. I bet, he called again. The river came a blank, and by now most of my chips are in the pot. I bet, he raised me all in, and I called. Turns out, I was right - there was no reason to fear one K in Baz's hand, because he held two of them. I was dead the entire way. Rebuy!

I made it to the final table of 8, but even with a handful of double-up's, the blinds were so big that my stack never grew about 10xBB. The final twist of the knife was when I pushed from the big blind preflop with 33 after Ed had raised 3x. (I had about 6x in my stack, total). He'd raised 4 of my previous big blinds at that table, and I had folded all of them. I decided to make my stand with 33, and it turns out I pushed into his pocket Aces. Nice play, Shel. No help onboard, and I went home a frustrated girl.

I had a frog of tears in my through as I drove home, and it wasn't because I got knocked out of the tourney. I thought I played well - better than I've played in a year or more. But the reflection off my windshield as I drove through the rain told tales of recent past that rang bitterly true. This game I play has mirrored my life, and I'm disappointed in how I've played.

I've played a weak-tight game for the past year or so, and it's no coincidence that it's been a very unhappy year in my personal life. I'd lost my confidence at the poker table, fearing that any move was liable to backfire anyway, so why bother. I'd limp and watch, wishing and wishing and wishing that my hands would hold up. I'd bleed away chips, lose in another tournament, and then wonder, why me? Even the monster hands betrayed me. Aces looked so beautiful when they did come around, but the board would dessimate them and I'd wish and wish and wish that they'd hold up anyway, because the just looked so right. I couldn't let them go, and would lose more me each time I held on for too long.

I've played the cards of my former relationship with Randy the same way. I don't think that playing any other way would have changed the outcome; I think we were destined to lose this game, as much as I wished otherwise. However, if I'd have played my cards and not tried to manufacture luck out of wishes, I might have been able to see the inevitable sooner and fold my hand. As it stands, I've bled away so much of myself and so much time that any realistic hope of ever getting married and having kids is dim at best. (I'm no spring chicken...)

Maybe that's just not in the cards for me. I'll take whatever the universe has in store for me and make the best of it. It's just ironic how life never seems to turn out the way you expect that it would.

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