Category Archives: Poker

Hey, it’s on ESPN, right?


I just had the absolute best idea evar: Madd, where’s your site? Let’s create our own cryptocurrency and only use that in the game. That would be an incredibly interesting technical challenge.

Hamacha Cha-Cha


I regret to inform y’all that I won’t be able to attend the UP Chaw ‘n’ Sau(sage) Extravatonydanza. Alas, my child needs to be looked after like the mewling baby he is. Instead, lemme tell you about this Tuesday when I stopped by Bay 101 for some old-timey California poker action.

It felt so good to once again see a variety of games: 3/6, 6/12, 8/16 half kill, 1/2/2 NL, 2/3/5 NL, and Omaha 8/18 half kill were the low limit games, while the high limits included 30/60, 40/80, 60/120, and 150/300. Dear god.

I sat at 3/6 for about 3 hours. Ended up losing $40 but it was mainly because I was dealt MANY excellent starting hands that went nowhere on the flop. Invested a lot preflop (particular on back-to-back AK suited) with complete shit flops and lunatics raising out the gate. However, I hadn’t had so much FUN playing in a looong time. Lots of crazy action, and really only one rock at the table. You were pretty sure when you hit you were gettin’ PAAAID, especially since I was seeing so many flops.

Maybe next time I’ll head down Garden City way…

Carcassonne, WORT Festival, and Smells

Well, the weekend is over.  And when all is said and done we incurred about 80,000 calories, a progressive music festival out side my window, an epic bocce ball tournament metldown, at least 84 cans of Miller High Life, two and a half bottles of scotch, a Brewers shit-pile, and one dog complaint by my “downstairs neighbors” (i.e., jerks).  I hate to be nudge, but could we get this story started? I’m leaving to go camping in a few hours…

Wwhazz and parker got here on Friday afternoon.   Timmer was already here on Thursday, so all of us (and o’neil) left at 4pm-ish to go to the Brewers game against the Minnesota (rrr!) Twins.  We picked up whitehouse in Waukesha on the way in.  We also did it durrty-style this time: parked in a neighborhood off Bluemound and hit the liquor store for Mini-Miller Lite 6 packs and boner beers (plastic bottles like the ones they use in the stadium).  Then we went to a bar with a free shuttle, had a bottle of beer, and got down to Miller Park with about 15-20 to go before game time.  After slamming 100 8 ox Miller Lite, we each put a boner beer down our pants and went to collect our Paul Molitor bobblehead.  Oh yeah.

The game kinda sucked (Brewers Lost) but we had a good time with our obstructed-view seats in the right field (behind the foul pole).  Our section was a batch of Milwaukee’s Finest salt-of-the-earth-folk mixed with yuppies with 18 kids or yuppies with skater0punk kids dressed in beige and dark green.  I had a fine time sitting behind a 6- and 8-year-old screaming “fuckin brewers!” while sloshing my beer all over the place.  The family came in the 4th inning and left in the 7th inning.  I’m sure they had a fine time; I scavenged one of their leftover PB&J’s for later on.

We were about to start walking back to the bar area when Wwhazz sighted the Fiesta Garibaldia shuttle.  We hopped on that thing and hit the party back at the bar.  Free taco bar, free chips and salsa, two hot chicks dressed as slutty referees: they had it all.  Lawman designated drove us back to Madison, where we passed out for the night.

Our only plan for Saturday was to cook up a homemade fish fry with the 15-20 bluegills, crappe, and perch that lawman caught on opening weekend .  We had lunch at the Old Fashioned, and then decided to give the bocce court in my complex’s courtyard a test drive.  Result: we will be starting a bocce league this summer.  It was awesome, especially since so much booze was involved.  The inaugural best-of-five series saw lawman and wwhazz coming back from a 10-1 deficit to stave off elimination, then to go on to win it while whazzmaster and timmer were 3/4 in the bag on scotch.  I cannot stress how fun bocce at my house is.

So after that we reloaded our booze and took off for lawman’s pad to make our epic dinner.  While lawman prepared the coating and got things ready, I was deep in the zone of potater-preparation.  The idea: potatoes au-gratin with ramps.  Somehow.  We ended up boiling some Yukon Golds (not too soft, though), then slicing them and laying them in a glass baking dish.  Then we sauteed the ramps, some green onions, and a regular white onion down.  We cooked some half-and-half with about half a block of shredded cheddar, and then combined that mixture with the saute and spooned it over the po-taters.  Cooked that in the over til the top was crispy, and voila.  It was tasty, but not as tasty as the delicious panfish lawman fried up.  We garnished things with fresh veggies, summer sausage, and High Life.

Oh yeah, and Springer was there.  That’s right; he came, he saw, he took our money in poker, he departed.

Sunday was a Day of Rest: games of all sorts were played.  We started things off with a breakfast of leftover fried bluegill, scrambled eggs, leftover po-tater au-gratin, sausage patties, donuts, and bread.  We basically went back and forth all day between the NES emulator on the Xbox, the new board game I got wwhazz for Xmas (Carcassonne), and another bocce tournament.  Things were made… odder by the fact that WORT was staging a street music festival about 20 yards from my window.  We found a SNES game in my ROMS folder called Vegas Stakes, and spent many hours running our $1000 buy-in up to $1.2 million.  You can play craps, roulette, blackjack, slots, and 7 card stud (spread limit) poker.  We had some early luck when a zombie-man offered to wipe our shirt off, and to thank us he gave us a lottery ticket that won us $80,000, which became our nest egg.  We ran that $80K to about $400K in poker by breaking off this poor schmoe named ‘Johnny’, and then took the $400K to over a million in high stakes craps.  We ended up betting $1.2 million on the odds behind our point (5) in a no-limit craps game, and busted out.  We will be more careful next time; Johnny is easy money.

The second bocce tournament saw another epic collapse by Timmer and whazzmaster.  This was just a best-of-three set, but they came from behind in the third game to put us down.

Sadly, the pounds and pounds of fried food, eggs, coffee, scotch, and High Life made hay of our buttholes; it smelled constantly like farts all day on Sunday.

On the upside, though, we are starting to get good at Carcassonne, which is probably the funnest board game I’ve played since Thunder Road.  Knowing Scientist’s love of Dice Wars, I’d be interested to see his reaction to this game.

So, that’s about it.  This morning spacebee and I leave to go camping up near The Dells.  We’ll be gone until Thursday or Friday, so be good you little scamps.  I’d love to see a discussion of Carcassonne strategy, or barring that maybe just some plans for our bocce league this summer.  Man, this is gonna be fun.

Ninjas On A Beach?!

So I got all my boxes out of storage today and heaped ’em in a pile on my floor to figure out just how much I crap I’ve got to take back to Wisco with me. The good news: not a whole lot.  The very good news: I found my Sega Dreamcast.  (This is the great kinda day where there’s only good and better news!)  So for the last hour I’ve been playing Streets of Rage 2 on the Sega SmashPack disc. I used to play Streets of Rage with Big Show all the time back in middle school, cuz he was just the sort of non-conformist that had a Sega Genesis instead of the Super Nintendo. He even bought the SegaCD add on (Night Trap! Yes!)  Anyways, I used all my continues and got halfway through Stage 6 before being brought low by a simultaneous attack from a man on a jetpack and a guy that looked like a mechanized Blanka from Street Fighter 2.  Streets of Rage 2 is 95% easy and 5% fucking impossible, and it’s that 5% that eats all your Continues.  Next up: Golden Axe and maybe later on some Phantasy Star II.

I got back in the gym today and then was all, “What was I procrastinating for, this is great!” Hopefully tomorrow will also work out nicely.

The cold run of cards on pokerroom continues.  I took a 2nd in a $10 Turbo SNG today, but that’s about it.  Perchance PR is punishing me for doing a $500 cash out. I’ll beat you someday

For a while today my house was clean as a fiddle, but now I done gone and messed it up again tearing through boxes while I look for shit to throw away.


Man, I totally forgot to talk about going to the city on Friday night.  Jordan and  Adam (coworkers), and sundry friends-of-friends made it a very exciting night at the karaoke bar. A very exciting night at the karaoke bar– indeed.  Afterwards I stayed at Cal’s house and then got up in the morning to have breakfast/lunch (wish there was a word for that) with Cal, his girlfriend Emily, and Emily’s sister.  Along the way we got to see the public park where gay men flop their genitals out for passing trains, Noe Valley’s penchant for families with children (Only 11,000 in all of San Francisco according to Cal’s Made-Up Numbers Reference), and Cal’s Favoritest German Knick-Knack Store in all of San Francisco.  A good day indeed, sir.

Back to the grindstone. Two weeks until San Diego (nee Tijuana).


For those of you who abhor poker, turn away now or forsake your right to complain. Now, on with the show.

I’m involved in approximately four different home game groups right now. Some of them go quite a while without a game, but knowing four different groups of players generally gets me into about 1 home game every month and a half. The frequency was a lot higher back in the winter when it was raining and everyone was more excited about poker in general. Strangely enough, my favorite game is Judd’s girlfriend’s brother’s friend’s neighbor’s game. There aren’t any amateurs, most of the players play regularly in casino multis and place highly. The game moves along quickly and everyone knows the rules. The money is usually good, too. They play a NL single table when I’m there. In the back of the guy’s garage there’s a game room with a full setup, so the environment is real cool, too. All in all, it’s a great game to be juiced into. I’ve played there 4 or 5 times now.

Out of the blue yesterday afternoon the host called me and asked if I’d be interested in a game. They were right on the border of needing some people. I said sure and after work I drove over. The particulars: 9 players, $40 buy-in/$20 rebuys first hour/$20 add-on end of first hour, 4000 chips on buy-in/4000 chips on rebuy/8000 chips for add-on. There were approximately 130,000 chips on the table by the end, so it took a while (I think we started at 7:20p and went to 11:30p). First place got $500, second got $240, third got $60, and there was a $20 bounty on the previous game’s winner (who in fact has one about half of all the tourneys they’ve done).

Early in the game everyone played crazy due to the rebuys. I wanted to get out there and mix it up, but got absolute shit cards for the first half hour. I’m talking 53o/T4o/J2s type of shit. Everyone was really sociable during this, and there were many all-ins and rebuys in the first hour (after that it got slightly more somber… also there were more farts due to the grilled Hot Links).

Long story short: I took first.

Short story long: I won two kind of crazy hands in the first hour when I was just trying to build up. One is when I tried to intimidate in early position with a big raise (I had only played 2 hands prior) with J9. There was one caller, and the guy after him pushed. I had most of my money in at that point, so I called and so did the original caller. I figured if I could draw out I could triple up and if not I was going to rebuy anyways. They flipped over A8 and KJ. No one paired the flop or turn, but a 9 came on the river. Awesome. I played stupidly into a miracle, and everyone at the table let me know that.

Later on (still in the rebuy period), the guy to my immediate right was the chip leader, with me close behind him. He was the guy who always wins the tourneys, and is a really good, aggressive player. He was the big blind and I made a considerable raise with AT. There was one caller, plus the big blind called (he had 33). The flop came J3Q and the big blind bet out 1500 chips. At the time it was about 5 percent of my stack to call it. I reasoned that against a player like this the only way I was going to take him down was to draw to the (completely unexpected) inside straight. Stupid, but that was my reasoning. I called the 1500 and the other player folded. The turn brought the miracle K with no flush possible. He checked and I overbet the pot; he instantly pushed and I instantly called. River was a T. I doubled up into great position (~45,000 chips/clear chip leader) and started to clamp down.

I played a few speculative hands but stayed out of any fights. Mostly I let the blinds start to build up and suck out other people. There was one interesting moment with four people left that I was a blind and got QQ. Two callers in front and I pushed all 40-some thousand in preflop. As expected, the short-stack folded, but the second chip-leader stared me down. I had doubled him up considerably a round earlier when he called my AQ all-in with KJ and hit a jack on the flop, so he had the stack to cripple me if he won this one.

–== Flashback to last game ==–
At the last game I played at, the same guy knocked me out when he bet big with 99, I came over the top with QQ, and he spiked a 9 to end my run (first out, 10 minutes after the rebuy ended).

–== Back to regularly scheduled programming ==–
He looks me up and down for a couple of minutes and then folds 77 face up. I honestly couldn’t tell if I was relieved or disappointed that he didn’t call. Of course I had him dominated, but the traditional way for me to exit a tourney is to lose with a dominating hand. The fact that it was this particular guy also played a part. He’s probably the second-best player at the table after the aforementioned gentleman to my right.

Now down to three players; I was in the small blind and looked down to find AJo. UTG folded and I glanced at my cards while eyeing the big blind, who was then chip leader. He had looked at his cards and while talking to another person had picked up a big stack as I made a move to my big denomination chips. Then he showed his hand to a non-player sitting next to him. I hadn’t really reacted yet, so I went back to my cards again and thought about it some more. It would be stupid to make a huge bet or push against the chip leader if he was holding AQ or AK, which are the hands I considered based on his actions before I had even looked at my cards. I figured I’d limp and see what he did. If an Ace came and he played strongly I would probably fold. He checked and the flop came J85. I threw out 15,000 chips, he instantly came over the top and pushed, and I instantly called. I should have thought about it some more, but I guess I figured if he had flopped a set then good for him; I had top pair, top kicker. As soon as I said, “Call,” he responded, “OK, you won.” He flipped over J3, and neither the turn nor the river brought a 3. After settling up he had one 1000 chip in front of him. Three hands later he went out in the big blind.

We only went about 5 hands heads-up. The blinds were 5,000-10,000 and I had approximately 100,000 chips. I was in the small blind with A9h and made it 20,000 to go. He pushed quickly after that. I thought about it for awhile. If I called his bet it would bring us about even in chips which I didn’t want. I had him on some middle pair and asked, “You got 77 or 88?” Earlier in the game I had folded KQ suited to a bet on the river and as I mucked said, “I can’t beat your ace jack.” The guy flipped over AJ and everyone thought I was awesome. I just figured he had Ace high and threw it out there, but if they wanted to believe I was good, I figured I’d let them believe it. I finally said, “OK, I think I’m gonna have to play catch-up, but at least I’m suited,” and called. He flipped up KTo, and no one paired on flop, turn, or river. Boo-yah, I won $500 and 3 cigars. I also got to write my name on a wooden beam in the game room next to the other tourney winners. I guess at the next game the bounty will be on me.

Overall, I played well a lot of the time, with a few questionable moves balanced by a few good moves, plus the luck breaks. Can’t ask for anything more in poker.


I Really Don’t Care If You Understand This

Seat 1: zachery [KD,KS] ($66 in chips)
Seat 2: jzpiano14 ($119 in chips)
Seat 3: mark22prior ($83 in chips)
Seat 4: Seatrek ($70 in chips)
Seat 5: Jamba_Jamba ($288 in chips)
Seat 6: igotacehigh ($191 in chips)
Seat 7: jedmaster ($41 in chips)
Seat 8: flekk ($629 in chips)
Seat 9: mr.stirfry ($419 in chips)
Seat 10: daddyfattsax ($36 in chips)

Jamba_Jamba posts blind ($1), igotacehigh posts blind ($2).

jedmaster folds, flekk folds, mr.stirfry folds, daddyfattsax folds, zachery bets $4, jzpiano14 bets $6, mark22prior folds, Seatrek calls $6, Jamba_Jamba calls $5, igotacehigh folds, zachery bets $4, jzpiano14 calls $2, Seatrek calls $2, Jamba_Jamba calls $2.

FLOP [board cards 10D,10C,JH ]
Jamba_Jamba checks, zachery bets $2, jzpiano14 calls $2, Seatrek folds, Jamba_Jamba calls $2.

TURN [board cards 10D,10C,JH,KC ]
Jamba_Jamba checks, zachery bets $4, jzpiano14 bets $8, Jamba_Jamba folds, zachery bets $8, jzpiano14 bets $8, zachery calls $4.

RIVER [board cards 10D,10C,JH,KC,AC ]
zachery bets $4, jzpiano14 bets $8, zachery bets $8, jzpiano14 bets $8, zachery calls $4.

jzpiano14 shows [ 10S,10H ]
zachery mucks cards [ KD,KS ]
jzpiano14 wins $101.

Dealer: Seatrek
Pot: $104, (including rake: $3)
zachery, loses $42
jzpiano14, bets $42, collects $101, net $59
mark22prior, loses $0
Seatrek, loses $8
Jamba_Jamba, loses $10
igotacehigh, loses $2
jedmaster, loses $0
flekk, loses $0
mr.stirfry, loses $0
daddyfattsax, loses $0

Psst… Come Over Here

Psst, come over here. Let me tell you a secret. Closer… closer… ok, here it is: you can’t bluff someone off a pot in 5-handed hold’em when they always have top pair… ALWAYS. Or two pair. All you’ll end up doing is losing $80 in 30 minutes. Remember, if you are playing 5 handed, and someone has top pair EVERY SINGLE TIME you make a go at the pot, you will lose. Big. This has been a public service announcment from me.

Bounds? What Fucking Bounds?

My hubris knows no bounds. I have been flattened in poker over the last eight hours. I had the ol’ account up to $745, but it’s quite a ways down now. How, you ask? Well, you live by the sword and you die by the sword. As Wirkus said, maybe I shouldn’t have tangled with the five-handed tables, but I did anyways and for the last week was on quite a good tear. I guess I foolishly thought that it meant I had improved my play. Nope, because for the last eight hours I’ve leaked motherfucking chips like di-a-fucking-rhhea. Every time I speculate nothing hits. Every time I hit the big time, some fucker spikes a small two pair on the river to take my $80 pot. Don’t know what to say? Sorry Poker Gods? Whatever, I’m goin out for dinner and a movie.

On The Take

While Wirkus indeed warned me not to play 5-handed games on pokerroom, after examining my statistics I noticed that I am extremely profitable at 5-handed or less games and not as much at 10-handed. I’m been paying around the last few days and things seem ok, though I do have your warning in the back of my head at all times.