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Merry Christmas Again!

Hope everyone's having a great holiday so far (for those of you fortunate enough to have the time off).

Quick update to what I've been doing since last Thursday:


  • Eating like a crazy bastard!

  • Finished Resident Evil 4 - say goodbye to the nightmares!

  • Playing tons of SNGs! Details to follow in the New Year!


Ok, back to relaxing!

If I don't write before New Year's Eve...Happy New Year everyone!

Keep reading "Merry Christmas Again!"

I'll be making some updates...

You may notice the totals and numbers changing in the Where's Klopzi's Money Now? section in my sidenav over the course of the next week or so. I've decided to update those numbers whenever I get the chance. I seem to have found my love of the game again, so I'll be playing SNGs like a crazy bastard over the course of my holidays!

As you can see, I've started playing at Intertops Poker again, mainly for the SNGs. Sure, the starting chip stacks are only T800 and sure, the blinds go up quickly. But I really find that this type of pressure can really help the good players if they're patient - and Lord knows I'm as patient as they come...unless I've been drinking, that is.

Merry Christmas everyone! Remember to put down the computers for a bit and spend some time with your family. I don't know about you, but my wife is worth a hell of lot more than a rivered straight flush that takes a monster pot!

Keep reading "I'll be making some updates..."

Merry Christmas! I'm a thief!

I know, I know...I said I was done posting earlier. But it's my last day of work before the holidays and I'm a little too excited to work.

In a first for me (I'm lying), I'm going to steal something that I saw on SirFWALGMan's site (Ramblings of a Mad Man). I'm going to start displaying my current $$ status in the sidenav (is that a word for people other than web developers?).

Thank you SirFWALGMan...you will be pimped!

Keep reading "Merry Christmas! I'm a thief!"

Wait, one last thing...

I've got a few questions for the other poker bloggers out there who've suddenly found themselves playing well and building up good-sized bankrolls.


  1. How long have you been playing poker regularly?

  2. How long did it take before you realized that you were crushing the "fish"?

  3. How many "breaks" from poker have you taken over the course of your poker career and what effect did it have on your game?

  4. How many "hiatuses" have you taken from blogging? I only mention this because I've noticed a couple recent hiatuses (PokerNerd and Al).

I'm only asking because I'd like to find out if I'm on-track for my poker career and I tend to use bloggers as the watermark. I mean, the professional players we see on TV have mainly built themselves up by playing in the B&M casinos (some exceptions though such as J-D'ag) and back-room super-secret poker games instead of braving the online waters. Although they may play online now, they "grew" up in a different poker world than most of us have.

I've only really played poker since May and even so, I never took it all that seriously until June. I'd just like to know when I can expect to hit it big or crash and burn.

If you are a poker blogger or successful player and feel like answering any of these questions, I'd appreciate it.

Okay....Christmas vacation begins...now.

--

Yay! Another comment - this time from Chris over at Sooted Connectors. If you've been reading my blog, you'll already know that I'm slowly building my poker empire one dollar at a time, never taking huge risks, playing small stakes games and trying to keep my head above water.

Well, if you'd like to read about someone going about things in an opposite and far more exciting way - why read about my $5 SNG results when you can read about Chris's $23K win in his first ever $200+ $15 SNG at PartyPoker? - then check out his new site.

New blog means it's real easy to catch up on all his posts...

Keep reading "Wait, one last thing..."

I'm going on vacation

Well, today's my last day before Christmas holidays. No new poker news or any other news for that matter. I probably will not post until January 3rd and if I happen to post before then, I'm sure you can catch up in the new year.

So, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May you all get good presents, spend some good time with family and friends, and catch some monster runner-runner hands!

Keep reading "I'm going on vacation"

297 hands

297 hands: the total number of hands played at InterPoker's cash tables during the months of November and December. How many times during this two month stretch have I been dealt pocket Aces? Until about 11:23 PM last night, that number was zero. But then, right on cue, the Ace of Hearts showed up bringing along its good friend, the Ace of Diamonds. And just like that, a mediocre night of poker blossomed into a semi-lucrative evening of grind-it-out limit poker.


That's right - after a long hiatus from the limit poker tables, I finally bellied up to InterPoker's 0.50/1.00 tables to give my limit game another shot. The deal they had going yesterday was a $10 bonus applied to your account for each pair of aces dealt you. Although I was doing ok and holding my own, seeing that pair of aces really made my night. It's only $10, I know, but when you've grown accustomed to the variance and inevitable downswings inherent to the sit-n-go world, it's nice to get a free and undeserved boost to your dwindling bankroll.

Although I didn't sit down at the tables until 9:30 PM last night, I figured that two and a half hours should be enough to guarantee me at least one pair of aces. Although it'd been a while since I'd sat at the InterPoker tables, it had been even longer since rockets had sought the pleasure of my company. Although I don't have an exact number, it had been at least 350 hands since I'd flown American Airlines - which in my mind is a statistical anomaly. I'm supposed to get aces every 221 hands and I don't care about that long-run mumbo-jumbo.

When I sat down to play last night, I was hoping to get the rockets out of the way quickly in order to give me the emotional buffer I needed to risk my bankroll at the ring game tables. As it turned out, I was forced to swim with the sharks (and there were many of them last night trying to collect on InterPoker's promotion) for a good two hours before I could get that sense of peace that only comes with getting rockets and the free $10 they came bundled with.

I couldn't tell you how the hand played out since I was too excited and my laptop is at home. I'm sure Poker Tracker will tell me the whole story when I feel like reading it. For now, though, I'm just happy that I posted a winning night at the tables.

I played fairly well all night. I did lose about $5 of my own money on a hand where I picked up JJ UTG. I gave the pot a nice little pop pre-flop and got cold-called by two players. When the flop came down 9 9 T, I was pretty confident that I was ahead. Yes, that's right, a paired card on the flop - my nemesis! I check-raised the flop when the guy to my left bet out - I needed to find out what he had. I surmised that if he re-raised me, I'd almost definitely be up against trip nines. Myself, I wouldn't cold-call a PF raise from the UTG player with an A9 (one of two hands that I would even venture to put his guy on), but this guy had a VPIP of over 40%. Long story short, I was heads up with this guy on the turn when the button decided that my check-raise on the flop probably put him behind. He'd already called the first guy's bet...I probably would've called to see if the turn helped me out.

The turn was a blank and Mr. Fish quickly called my the bet I put out there. At this point, I'm counting my money - I've got a guy calling my bets and I'm thinking he's on an AT or a draw. When the river is Q, I decide to check with the board now showing a flush draw, a straight draw and an overcard to my jacks. Mr. Fish bets out and I'm forced to call given the size of the pot and the fact that I've now shown weakness. So, what does my opponent show? Pocket nines - he flopped quads!

Having grown accustomed to some hideous luck in my SNG play, I simply laughed it off wondering why this guy had not re-raised me on the flop or on the turn. When I hit a flop that hard and I have someone betting into me, I'm gonna jam the pot any chance I get. In all fairness, any overt aggression on his part would have put me in check-call mode. All I can say is that I'm glad a jack didn't hit the board. Since InterPoker does not cap heads-up play on the river, I could've lost a lot of money had that been the case.

I'd elaborate on some other hands, but they all followed predictable patterns. I managed to steal a lot of blinds (and I mean a lot) and my heads up play is so much better now than it was a couple months ago. I guess my game is improving despite all my efforts to the contrary!

Anyway, I ended up with a win rate of 1.7 BB/100 (damn quad nines...) for a total profit of about $6 in the 2.5 hours that I played. Coupled with the $10 for the rockets, that put me up $16 for a couple hours work. However, when I checked my InterPoker account statement, I noticed that a few mystery deposits had been made to my account! There were three reward bonuses applied to my account since the start of December that totaled about $23. So my bankroll is up $39 after last night! Sweet! Have I mentioned how much I like InterPoker?

That's it for now. I wrote this pretty quickly so I'm hoping that it all makes sense. I'll probably write later, seeing as how it's approaching the end of the week and I don't really wanna work...

Keep reading "297 hands"

I busted the car dealership's computer

Well, I'm sitting at my local Hyundai dealership and I think I've broken the parental filter placed on this computer. As soon as I got here this morning, I decided to try and access this blog in the hopes that I could piss away some time updating the site. Well the parental filter on this machine was set to disallow "gambling" related sites - although the way I play, it ain't gambling, it's charity.

Anyhow, after 30 minutes of trying to access the parental filter to check the settings, the filtering program crashed and I now have full blog access...being a computer geek has its advantages I guess.

Now for some poker talk. I played poker yet again last night after some stirring Resident Evil 4 play and a little SMT: Nocturne. I tried to sit at an SNG at InterPoker, but alas, no one was playing. I decided against playing at Eurobet since I didn't feel like sitting around for 40 minutes then tossing the proverbial dice for a top three spot. I checked Poker Dominator and realized that I still had $14 left in my PokerStars account. So I was off to PokerStars for some supposedly stiffer competition.

Well, I'll try to keep the bitching to a minimum. Basically, I got f'd in the a by a couple players. I played my usual tight game, but definitely took some more liberties with my aggressive play when I realized that all but one of the players at the table were absolutely awful. These guys were not playing poker: they were playing some weird game where they would call off all their chips to a river all-in bet with only a ten high!? Although this worried me (since everyone knows that these types of players will absolutely kill any skill brought to the table by good players), I decided to take advantage by value betting instead of bluffing. Once we were down to five players, I was sitting comfortably in second place with T3025 in chips. Then it all went south...

It started when I pick up 77 UTG. I raise it up to T300 and the short stack to my immediate left goes all in for his last T800. I call and he shows TT...I hate it when that happens. About 3 or 4 circuits later, I knock the fifth place guy out with my AK versus his KQ. Sweet! I'm back up to T2000 or so.

With the blinds climbing and Mr. Pocket Tens short-stacked again, he pushes all in for his last T1000 and I look down and see another AK. I insta-call and he shows QT. Well, a ten comes on the flop and he's doubled up through me again.

Another 4 times round the table and Mr. Pocket Tens is short-stacked again (he was not that great a player). I raise it up UTG with my AQs and he pushes all in for his last T800. I'm at T1700 so it's an instant call for me - he shows KJ. Well, a jack spikes on the river and I'm down to T900. The very next hand I pick up KQs and call a steal-raise by the SB which leaves me with around T500. The flop comes A K Q. When SB bets out, I push all-in and he calls showing a J9o. Hmmm, the PF raise and the flop call were both such bad plays that the outcome of this hand was painfully obvious. The turn comes a 9, which made no difference, however the T on the river killed me and I was out in 4th.

All in all, I played extremely well in that SNG. I had the short stack all-in with the worst of it two times and I had all my chips in with around an 85% chance of taking the pot down in my last hand. Sometimes the Poker Gods are just angry and that's all there is to it. If I keep playing the way I've been playing, I should start placing fairly regularly barring any bad luck like last night.

I may play the remaining SNGs in my SNG challenge at PokerStars instead of at Eurobet. The Eurobet SNGs are brutally tough and the players at PokerStars seemed unusually crappy.

One last thing: I'll be playing some limit poker at InterPoker this evening. It's Pocket Aces Tuesday! I'll be home around 9 PM tonight, which will leave me with three hours to play. The only possible setbacks include staying out longer than anticipated and the very real possibility that I'll be too tired to play. I've only slept about 6 hours in the past two nights and I really hate gambling when I'm on little to no sleep. I'll keep my fingers crossed though - I really want to play!

By the way, I've crossed the 500 hits mark! I still only have a handful of returning readers, but maybe that'll change if I start actually doing well. Now that I've said that, I'm sure karma will turn around and bite me in the ass.

See you at the tables...

--

Well, I've started reading Up4Poker that details the comings and goings of Otis, Rob, and CJ. Their link was pimped on my site for the simple fact that CJ knocked me out of one of Dr. Pauly's Saturday blogger tourneys. I've started reading the blog (only at October 2003 though) and I'm enjoying it so far. More writers means more perspective, and from what I've read elsewhere, I believe Otis has gone pro. You gotta love reading about people who are so much better than you at the things you love to do...maybe some day, I'll be there....nah, won't happen. I've got a bad habit of talking about my game when it's running good, and according to many players out there, this is a bad thing.

Anyway, just reading about variance in poker right now...I think I'm there right now, but who knows? I don't want to talk about it in case I jinx myself.

--

Anyone out there have any good ideas for an avatar that I can use at various poker rooms? I think I'm looking for some sort of pirate theme, but then again, anything will do. I want something funny, witty, insightful, y'know...perfect! How hard can it be?

Keep reading "I busted the car dealership's computer"

'Twas a week before Christmas

Well, I finished off a good chunk of my 100 SNGs in 100 days goal last night by playing 4 back to back to back to back SNGs at TigerGaming. Given my crappy luck in SNGs recently, I thought I'd ease my way back into the poker scene playing against some of the weakest players on the Internet.


So, let's do a quick recap of last night's festivities:
SNG 1 (10:30 PM):
This one was a quickie - the poker equivalent of a kick in the junk by a five year old unhappy that you've told him for the last time "No treats!" while standing in line at the grocery store.

Early in level 2, I pick up KK! Ah, my luck is finally turning around! A quality hand! I raise it up to 3xBB and get called by the loosest, fishiest player at the table. Flop comes down J62 rainbow. I bet half the pot, not wanting to appear weak but hoping to induce a bluff on my opponent's part. He complies by raising me for about 3/4 of my chips. It's an easy push for me holding the overpair. When he turns over his QJ, I'm a 4 to 1 favourite to take the hand down. The turn is a blank but one of the remaining queens hits on the river and I'm all but out. A few hands later, the same guy knocks me out with his 97o vs. my K6s and I'm out in fifth!

You know what they say: if poker was easy, I'd still suck at it...

SNG #2 (10:40 PM)
I did a little better this time, but ended up bubbling out in third due to two bad hands. One thing I'm starting to get used to in SNG play is the fact that it is extremely possible to lose the whole thing based on some really shitty luck. I find that when I win, I rarely have my chips in with the worst of it (probably because I try to avoid "gambling" with my tournament life on the line). The difference between winning and losing for me comes down to how lucky my opponent gets in hitting his draws. I guess this should bring me some peace of mind - I'd much rather be the player with the made hand when the chips go in.

Anyway, my downfall in this SNG started when I caught two pair, Aces and threes, on the flop. There was a flush draw and the pot was already quite large given that the blinds were getting up there and I'd popped it PF. I decide to push, hoping to either get a caller and double up or simply take down the large pot and grab the chip lead. Well, the guy to my left thinks for about 20 seconds then calls the all-in. I'm not too worried at this point - he's most likely got a flush draw. If that's the case, I'm ahead right now and he's definitely making a mistake by calling my all-in bet. And if he does hit his draw, I'd still have some outs to hitting my boat. Well, he hits his draw on the river and he doubles up through me.

I lose a few hands later when I pick up JJ in the BB and raise it 3xBB. Mr. Flush calls and when the flop comes down A 9 x, I push in the hopes that he would've raised it PF holding an ace. He insta-calls and shows his A9s for two pair and I'm dead to a jack...which, of course, does not come.

SNG #3 (11:25 PM)
This one was a little boring. I was totally card dead until level 5 when I pick up A5s on the button. I raise it to T160 PF (about 3xBB) and get called by chip leader - so I'm now looking to double up. Flop comes down 5 5 8. I decide not to slow-play and bet half the pot and the chip leader calls. The turn is a J and the chip leader bets about half the pot. I raise it up with another 2/3 pot-sized bet and the chip leader calls. When the river comes down with a 6, I'm worried that he may have the straight, but instead hope that he's got something like a Jx-type hand. I've got most of my chips in the pot so when he puts me in for the rest of my chips, I have to call. He turns over a 97o for the rivered straight and I'm out in 4th.

Stupid river...

SNG #4 (12:05 AM)
This SNG was defined by large periods of time where I was card dead and three occasions where I got slowplayed by AA, KK and a flopped nut-flush. However, even so, I managed to end up heads-up when I doubled up through the chip leader in level 3 when he tried to steal the pot pre-flop with a Q8s and I called with my pocket tens. This guy had picked up the chip lead in the first few hands, holding half of all the chips by virtue of some lucky cards.

Anyway, once heads-up with the guy sitting to my immediate left, things really slowed down. We were only in level 4 and we both had pretty large M's: with the blinds at 25/50, I was sitting pretty with T1500 and my opponent had T4500. Although I was behind, I had a lot of time and chips to poke and prod my opponent's defenses to find a weak spot.

Within 5 minutes, I'd noticed a couple things. First off, he never raised it pre-flop. He was playing the cautious sand-bagger style of heads-up play. This can work, especially against someone like me who likes to be aggressive heads-up, but this would backfire on him by giving me the chance to see too many flops. I was able to call pre-flop with any two cards then make some probe bets to see where he was at. I also discovered that he rarely bet unless he was holding something. He would always call on the flop if he had 2 or 3 outs to making his hand but he would not bet unless he had at least 2nd pair (although he would bet bottom pair or a draw if I checked on the flop).

So, being behind in chips, it was hard to gain momentum since he would fold to a pre-flop raise and always try to suck out after the flop. He got me many times with some unlikely flushes, straights and full boat. But I managed to stay in it, usually hovering around the T2000 mark to his T3000. As the blinds started to climb, he started losing ground when he kept folding to my pre-flop raises and big bets on the river.

Finally, two hands after picking up the chip lead (for a second time), I found QJs in the BB with the blinds at 75/150. I had about T3200 in chips - my opponent had T2800. He completes on the button and I make it another $150 to go (I don't want him folding pre-flop yet again). The flop comes down Q x x. I overbet the pot to make it look like I'm bluffing, he raises me and I push all-in, hoping that he'll call and that my jack kicker is better than his kicker. I'm pretty sure that he's got top pair at this point. I'm also pretty sure he doesn't have KQ or AQ since he would've (or should've raised) pre-flop with either of these hands. When he calls my all-in bet and shows QT, it's all over and I've won.

Now that I've completed 10 $3 + $0.45 SNGs at TigerGaming, I'll need to focus exclusively on the $5 SNGs elsewhere. Here are my final results for the cheap-o SNGs:


  • 1st Place: 1/10

  • 2nd Place: 3/10

  • 3rd Place: 2/10

  • ITM %: 40%

  • Avg. Finish: 3.1

  • Won/Lost: -$3.90


All in all, I was quite happy with my play in these SNGs. Although I lost money, I placed in-the-money far more times than simple luck would dictate. Unless extremely short-stacked, I was patient and put my money in with the best of it. Given another 100 SNGs, I'm sure my financial results would more closely reflect my play.

Just in case you were wondering, I did play another $5 + $0.50 SNG at Eurobet on Saturday afternoon. As is usually the case at the Poker Network skins, the SNG play was uber tight. I ended up out in 6th place, although had I actually picked up any cards, I could have just as easily ended up in first.

The play at the table was dictated by a couple guys picking up monster hands. Me, not one pocket pair or any two cards higher than T. Well, except for a KQs where I pushed pre-flop and everyone folded. The blinds at that point were 100/200 and I had about T650 left. When I pushed UTG, I was hoping that I'd get at least one caller but it wasn't meant to be. Everyone was playing as if they were on the bubble and close to making the money.

I was out a few hands later where I decided to push with a 94o from the SB. I was hoping to steal the blinds so that I could live another round. Unfortunately, the BB had found a 44 and, having just over twice my stack, called and knocked me out. I hope that my luck picks up a bit at these Eurobet SNGs...if not, I may finish off the rest of the 30 tourneys elsewhere. Probably not though since I am pretty stubborn.

So, quick recap of my 100 SNGs goal:

  • SNGs Played: 15

  • ITM %: 33.33%

  • Won/Lost: -18.40


I missed my goal of making it into the top three 7/10 times at TigerGaming - I only made it 6 times - but I've managed to maintain my ITM % of 30%. We'll see where I am after the Christmas holidays.

Ok, that's it for poker talk for now. More posts to come later on a variety of subjects depending on the amount of time afforded to me by work.

--

Well, I've finished reading Pokerama-rama: yet another blogger with far more skill in poker than I. These bloggers trick you into thinking that they don't know what they're doing, but as you read through their blogs you soon realize that they are playing on a whole different level.

In comparison to most poker bloggers, I rarely place well in an MTT (well, 9th place I think in one for a small-ish payday and tenth in another for a $0 payout). I'm still at the stage where I'm just trying to make the money. Maybe someday I'll have enough poker know-how to avoid the pitfalls that the other poker bloggers point out in others' games.

I also stink at no limit ring games, I'm deathly afraid of playing Omaha for real money, and my limit play pays off at the rate of 0.2 BB/100 (actually, in the past two months, I've lost money playing limit poker).

I think one disadvantage is knowing that I will most likely never go to Vegas nor will the chance to play live poker in a casino come up in the next few years. And once my wife and I have kids, any chance of casino play drops to zero. The only exception to these eventualities is if I win a seat to the WSOP or to a WPT event. The problem is that these tournaments cost so much damn money. I'm still playing $5 SNGs (and losing), so there's no way that I'm going to spend $100 for a 1 in a 100 chance of winning a seat to the WPT. My bankroll's just not big enough to handle that kind of action.

Anyway, I'm going to look for some more blogs to read in the meantime. Maybe someone's got a blog that will teach me how to play properly, but I doubt it. Too many insider secrets, I think. I can tell readers my big poker strategy: wait until you have a better hand than your opponent then take all of his/her chips. Easy, huh? I know...it doesn't work for me either.

Anyway, on the menu for this evening - probably some Resident Evil 4 and a night off from poker. I played a lot last night and I'm in no rush. I may play limit tomorrow night at Interpoker - they have their $10 bonus for each pair of pocket aces dealt. Sweet - if I multi-table for a couple hours, I may see a pair or two of aces and I'll be rich!

I'm not going to spell check this entry...I'm too lazy and full of fajitas...

--

Finished reading the Poker Night Posse blog...not sure how old these guys are? I'm guessing late teens or early twenties, although I'm a thirty year old Canadian, so I'm way out of touch when it comes to twenty-somethings living in California. BLP seems to be on his way as does pMac - at least they've both played far better than I.

I don't know if I'd ever use the terms "4 titties" to refer to Queens (I think the term "Hiltons" is as demeaning as I'd ever want to get). And the term "Death Johnnies" to refer to JJ seems a bit silly. Why death? Jacks aren't so good that they deserve the ominous "death" reference.

Still, there are a couple good entries from BLP and pMac, so check it out. There are very few entries thus far so it's a quick read.

I'm outta here...have a good night everyone...

Keep reading "'Twas a week before Christmas"

Snow Storms, Poker and Sexually-Ambiguous Demons

Before I write anything else, let me just say that I did indeed play poker last night. I know - "Klopzi, you never play poker? I didn't come to your poker blog to read about poker, I want to read about the rest of the useless crap your doing with your free time!" Well, there's gonna be some poker talk today whether you like it or not.

However, first let me mention the snow storm that is currently pounding the city of Ottawa into Christmas-sy submission. All day yesterday, I kept hearing about this damned snowstorm coming our way. Driving home last night, I was told repeatedly that the store's were crazy with shopper due to a huge snowstorm coming - I guess people don't like to shop when it's snowing? My wife and I went grocery shopping (actually shopping for the party we're having on Saturday) and the local Loblaws was indeed chock full of rabid shoppers.

Walking down the soup and canned vegetables aisle, my wife suddenly turned to me and urged me to go out and pick up the game I've been dying to play on PS2: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. I'd been holding off on getting it because I had other games to play (and I knew this game would consume me for a long time) and the price was at $65 for the game.

Don't get me wrong - I can afford to pay $65 for a game, especially given the recent OT that I've put in on various projects. The thing is, I just don't like paying full price for a game unless it's something that I really, really, really want.

Will SMT: Nocturne be as good as I'm hoping? Well, I played it for a couple hours last night and it's pretty fun so far. It reminds me very much of Final Fantasy, but replace the weird Japanese girly-pop with some generic heavy metal riffs. Cool! At around 11 PM last night, I popped the game in to give it a quick try. The one strange thing about the game is that all the characters appear to be sexually ambiguous. I named one of the more effeminate characters after MrVercetti (without first knowing that he would look like skinny crack-whore a la Lindsey Lohan), much to MrVercetti's chagrin. In MrVercetti's defense, he is not effeminate in any way, unless you find buzz cuts and a constant 5 o'clock shadow to be girly.

Anyway, the story seems to be building itself up into one of those epic Final Fantasy -type stores, so I'm really stoked to play this thing through, even if it does take me 100 hours to do it.

How big a thing is it for me to actually pay full-price for a game? There's a couple reason why my wife pushed me to make this purchase: first, she was sick of hearing me talk about some weird "Japanese-shit" all the time and she knew that I'm very cheap when it comes to buying games. In fact, to this day there are only 7 games that I've paid full price for:


  1. Final Fantasy X: Awesome!

  2. Final Fantasy X-2: Ok, lots of thongs and a f*cked up back-rub mini-game (I sometimes think that Japanese game makers and story writers have been sniffing a little too much wasabi), but a little too much dress up and giggling prevent it from being awesome.

  3. Tekken Tag Tournament: Is there anything more fun than kicking the shit out of robots and panda bears? Is there anything more embarrassing than having your ass handed to you by a Japanese school girl? Actually, there is: having said Japanese school girl kick your ass after getting tagged in by a panda bear wearing a kerchief! Have I mentioned that Japanese game designers are off their rockers?

  4. GTA III: Excellent!

  5. GTA: Vice City: Best game ever!

  6. GTA: San Andreas: Pretty good but ultimately disappointing.

  7. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne: Demons, sexually ambiguous characters, out-of-place dirty talk and sexually awkward dialogue, the story's protagonist wearing the world's tightest pair of bicycle shorts (he appears to be Jewish in case you're wondering...), and some weird demon thingies that are clearly displaying their junk for all to see (I am totally not joking here - it's one of the most obscene yet funny things I've ever seen in a game). All this and I've only played two hours!



But I digress...Around 8 pm last night, with my wife by my side, the Sens playing Dallas on TV, and MrVercetti sitting in my favourite leather chair (that I no longer sit in for some reason), I loaded up TigerGaming for some SNG action. It had been a while since I last played but was fairly confident given that I have been playing well as of late.

The most surprising thing about this first SNG was that, at level 4 of the blinds, all 6 players still remained in the game. In level 2, I'd doubled up when I milked trip sixes. The guy that I successfully milked, Thanos, typed "Almost had me" after I successfully milked another 300 out of him on the end with 900 in the pot. I don't know about the "almost part" - I managed to drain about 75% of his chips on that one hand - I'd say I had him.

Anyway, with the chip lead, I could sit back and choose my battles. I eventually found myself heads up with the chip leader who had successfully knocked out 3 of the 6 players himself. On the very first hand, I am in the BB with Q4s. The chip leader is on the button but not the SB due to the previous hand's knockout. Anyway, the chip leader throws in T150 and I check. Flop comes down 3 4 5. At this point, I'm thinking that the only card I need to be worried about here is a 5. However, the chip leader had put in a full blind so I was assuming that he probably did not have the 5. Maybe he had A2? Unlikely since he didn't raise PF. Well, I needed to double up so I pushed hoping to take the pot right there. The chip leader thinks for about 15 seconds and calls, showing a 5.

So, I'm out in 2nd and take home $6.30 for my troubles. I'm happy with the way I played this one. Although my assumption at the end was costly, at least I put the thought into my actions and followed a sound plan of attack. Sometimes your opponent just happens to be holding the cards that ruin you.

I immediately signed up for another $3 SNG at Tiger, ready to dominate the table. Well, this second game played out much differently. I would say that a good 4 out of the 6 players were complete donkeys. By level 3, there were only 3 of us left. However, it took another 2 or 3 levels before I was heads up with the chip leader.

Now, you might be wondering why I always end up being short-stacked heads up. Well, if I'm on my game and I'm getting dealt reasonable hands, I'll normally be big stack heads up. However, when I keep getting dealt 94o (must have been 4 or 5 times in the last 20 hands), I can do naught but sit there and hope that I don't get blinded out. I mean, the hands I was getting were not even playable for a bluff-steal - it was awful.

Anyway, I'm finally heads up against a crazy player. He frequently pushed all-in and had gotten luck on numerous occasions throughout the SNG. I finally went out when I pick up the Hilton sisters on the button. I raise it to 2xBB so as to not scare off my prey. He, in turn, min re-raises me and I do the same to him. MrVercetti thinks I should've pushed PF and he does have a point. However, given that I'd outplayed this opponent post-flop on previous hands and given that he had folded to too much pre-flop aggression, I didn't want to waste my queens. I was hoping to double up, at which point I would be in the chip lead. Flop comes down K 9 6. My opponent checks to me and I'm put to the decision. There is a quite a bit in the pot at this time. My opponent re-raised me pre-flop so his most likely holding was an Ax, probably A9 or lower. The other possibility was that he was holding Kx. After a few more seconds of thought, I reasoned that had my opponent hit top pair, he would have bet since he hadn't slow-played a top pair hand at any point leading up to this hand. So, I push all-in. Then, the fucker has the audacity to slow-roll me by typing, "Hmmm...interesting. Should I call?". After about 20 seconds, he calls showing K9o for two pair and I'm out.

Again, my reasoning at the end was sound. I had a read on the guy but did not think that he'd show me a king. Oh well, at least I wasn't prick-tastic like my opponent - who the fuck slow-rolls a big hand online? I should've gone Barry Greenstein on his ass! Another SNG, another $6.30 for second place.

At this point, the night was still young so I thought I'd give it another go by playing a $5 + $1 at InterPoker. This SNG was marked by decidedly fishy play and after picking up some absolute monster hands (AA, KK, JJx3), I found myself heads up and in the chip lead by a 3:2 margin.

In the second or third hand, I slowplayed trip 8s to take a good sized pot off my opponent. Knowing full well that I would not be beat by playing the skill game, my opponent started pushing all-in on every hand. It was awful...I soon found myself short-stacked by a little bit to this guy. Although I'd had many opportunities to call some of this guy's all-ins when the table was still 3-handed, I'd been assuming that he had the goods due to his occasional folds.

Well, I finally pick up QJs in the BB and my opponent (who just has me covered) pushes all-in for the 10th consecutive time. I insta-call and he shows me the 92o (sometimes called the Montana Banana due to the likelihood of this hand winning being as likely as bananas growing in Montana). I'm now 70% favourite to win the hand, until a 9 spikes on the flop. Mother Fucker!!! I'm now only 25% to win the hand until a Q hits the turn! At this point, I'm only one card away from taking a huge lead on the guy and most likely knocking him out. Well, the river is a 2 and I'm out with a yell of "Dirty Mother Fucker! No!".

Another 2nd place finish for me, worth $15 this time. I'll use my winnings to pick up some fresh grown Montana-brand bananas, I guess.

Once again, I was very pleased with my play last night. Although I played it overly safe at some points during the night's proceedings, I did what I needed to win some $$. Here's where I sit with my 100 SNGs in 100 days goal:
$3 SNGs

  • # Played: 6

  • Won: 0

  • Avg. Finish: 3.0

  • ITM %: 50%

  • $ Won/Lost: -$1.80


$5 SNGs

  • # Played: 4

  • Won: 0

  • Avg. Finish: 4.3

  • ITM %: 25%

  • $ Won/Lost: -$9.00


As you can see, I'm not doing that badly. It's been a slow start but I'm doing alright in regards to my average finishes and ITM%. It's nice to know that even with the cards running slightly below average, I've managed to keep my head above water (or just under judging by the $10.80 that I'm down).

By the way, just a quick note in regards to InterPoker: they're having some good promotions during the month of December. Today is Pocket Kings day: for each KK that you're dealt at the tables today, you will be credited with $10. And next Tuesday, they're doing the same thing with AA. I'm a big fan of the poker room - they're pretty darn awesome!

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm still exhausted from shoveling my car out this morning using only my windshield scraper and the slow drive in to work.

My plans for this weekend include two parties, lots of sausage rolls and spinach dip, booze, video games and maybe one or two SNGs depending on how boner-rific SMT: Nocturne turns out [ed. is boner-rific a word? too graphic or stupid? ah hell, it's Friday and this whole weekend's gonna be boner-rific].

I may write later if I feel like slacking off!

Klopzi, out...

--

By the way, I think anyone who feels strongly about anything, anywhere, anytime is a dick. I think protestors are crap, I think unions are garbage, and I think that the false morality displayed by many people nowadays can kiss my ass.

Case in point: here's a couple of asshole hippies who are pissed that there are people out there who can afford to buy stuff. Maybe if this couple hadn't spent so much time reading philosophy, drinking tea and smoking up, they could afford shit and shut the f*ck up. Political messages, philosophical messages, and weird coffee-house sarcastic humour sucks.

Myself, I believe that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, but the holiday season is about gifts and food. Christmas and the holidays can co-exist - shit, they've co-existed in my family for years. So, anyone out there who gets offended that people are not falling to their knees and praising Jesus for the glory that is He should stop it. Jesus was the most tolerant person ever - I'm sure he would've taken it in stride and made some deep comment that would've just made everyone "get it".

And the rest of you people who complain when people wish you a "Merry Christmas" and not "Happy Holidays" should shut the f*ck up! Dear Lord, December 25th is Christmas Day. That means that it is about Jesus and no one else. It's not about the Holiday Spirit or Gaia or Buddha or anyone else. Christmas! Get used to it! It's all about the religion whether you like it or not. Even my Jewish family celebrated Christmas, just as we celebrated Hanukkah. If anyone had come to my grandparents and told them that Hanukkah was not about the festival of lights and not about teh Jewish faith, they would've flipped. So what makes other religious or non-religious groups think that they can tell Catholic people what Christmas is "actually" about or, more importantly, what it shouldn't be about?

My whole point boils down to this: mind your own business! And if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holidays, just say thank you and repeat it back to them. Trust me, the world would be a better place if everyone just followed that simple piece of advice.

--

Funny quote from Pokerama-rama
...I've been in this spot many times as I'm sure most people have in the countless hours spent trying to find "their" game at the tables:

Hello Muck, I'd like you to meet Mr. Shitty Hand. Seems you two have become quite familiar over the course of the evening.


While I'm on the subject of Pokerama-rama, reading Chad's blog has reinforced the idea that everyone seems to go through this "blah" period that I've been in lately.
This also seems to be a common thread amongst bloggers: one day, they're struggling with their play, and the next, they're pulling in over $100 a day and complaining about $400 paydays in tournaments.

I'm hoping that things run that well for me...we'll see. I've definitely got the fundamentals of poker theory (basic theory, like I know what beats a straight) down and I seem to know what I'm doing heads-up. When I've got the chip lead, I'm pretty good at adapting to my opponent's style and really putting it to them. You know you've done your job if they start playing the all-in game every hand. Anyone who's willing to put their tournament on the line on every hand has basically conceded the game - they are waiting for you to take it from them. They'll get lucky from time to time (see earlier in this post) but in the long run, you'll come away with the money.

As much as I love video games, there is something about a well-played hand of poker that really does it for me.

--

Judging from the following quote I found online, I'm hoping that online poker is due for another downswing in poker talent:
I have a question, I hope someone here can answer or maybe help. I just started playing poker at Doyles, first of all I have an account at Poker Stars, and have played there a very long time so I am not new to poker. My question is about the kicker card. I have noticed at Doyles sometimes they use the kicker and sometimes they don't. For instance lets say on the flop [Qc Qh Ah 7h] and 3 players have the following cards. [Ad 6h] [Ac 3d] [3c As] who wins the pot?? Is it split 3 ways??? Would you use the kicker???


Hello! My name is Klopzi and I'll be handling your money for the rest of your stay.

Keep reading "Snow Storms, Poker and Sexually-Ambiguous Demons"

PS2 Wish List and The Brenes Brothers

Before moving off topic to video game related material again (I know this is supposed to be a poker blog), I wanted to comment on two recent WPT Season 3 episodes I watched.

The first was a Caribbean Classic one with Mike Matusow, Layne Flack and Erick Brenes at the final table. I was cheering for Layne Flack and was deeply disturbed by Erick Brenes's win. Erick seemed to win the thing through luck alone - at least that's how the producers of the show wanted it to appear. On numerous occasion, Erick made bad all-in calls and managed to get lucky each time. Sure, many of the calls resulted in 50/50 chances, but who wants to gamble away their entire tournament on a 50/50 chance?

Anyway, a few weeks later I watch the celebrity classic WPT event and see Alex Brenes sitting at the final table. I knew right away that he'd win when I saw Chris Ferguson make a bad all-in move with his pocket 4s against Alex Brenes's KK. When Brenes, with AT, eventually knocked Jesus (holding AA) out, it was finished. Seriously, that family must have done something good for somebody because karma has sure paid them back in spades.

I guess I'm just jealous since my luck seems to have left me...

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Games! Games! Games!

After careful review of the games out there right now, filtering out games that are too crap-tastic, too anime, too boring, and just too over-done, I've come up with the following list of must-play games for me (I've included the ratings received by X-Play, whose opinion I respect since they seem to be pretty hard on most games, and GameSpot, because they've never served me wrong as long as I stay away from any games rated less than 8.0.


  1. Shadow of the Colossus
    This game has a guy riding aroudn on a horse, finding giant nasties, crawling up their bodies and stabbing them in the head while black goo gushes out all over the place. Yes please!
    X-Play: 4/5
    GameSpot: 8.7/10


  2. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
    Rated as the best RPG of 2004 by X-Play, they describe it as:
    Call it the RPG for the GTA generation. No console RPG to date offers this many choices, this much customization, or so much dark and gritty style. And if anyone pays attention to its content, it might create a little controversy, as well.

    Sounds good to me. I haven't found any used copies of this game since Atlus (publisher) printed out fewer copies than they thought they'd need. So, I'll have to get it used for $65 from my local Microplay. I hate paying full price for games, but this one sounds like it's really worth it!
    X-Play: 5/5
    GameSpot: 8.5/10


  3. Silent Hill 3
    Due to my recent time with RE 4, I thought I'd give this puppy a try. It's been rated quite highly and X-Play has the following to say about the game:
    If you're a basically logical type but a butterfingers with a weapon while under combat pressure, "Silent Hill 3" is watching out for you.

    That's me alright...we'll see how well I do.
    If you're an especially sensitive, impressionable type, stay the hell away from this game, because it will worm its hellish images into your nightmares.

    This last quote scares me a little, but I'll hold to my guns and play this game...
    Monsters are everywhere, and not just your garden-variety videogame monsters but really nasty-looking ones that your eye can't even categorize. "Silent Hill" creature designer Ito Masahiro knows what's disturbing, and even the way some of the game's monstrosities move is just scary, bad, and wrong.

    This last quote horrifies me. The movie "The Ring" gave me nightmares for a year when I saw it (I was 28 when I saw it...) because of the freaky way that the little girl moves - I'm guessing that the monsters in SH3 make the little ring girl look like fucking Bambi.
    X-Play: 5/5
    GameSpot: 8.4/10

  4. Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
    Sly 2 was just plain great and I can't wait to play the third installment in this series!
    X-Play: 5/5
    GameSpot: 8.4/10


Other than those games, there are a list of other that I will try once those four are done. These include: Shen Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 1 & 2, Jak 3, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, Psychonauts, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly.

I'm hoping to avoid paying more than $30 for any of these games (except for SMT: Nocturne). I know for a fact that MGS3 is only $20 at Microplay and SH3 should be no more than $30 as well.

So many games, so little time...

--

Fun fact: since I started talking about video games on this blog, my readership seems to have dropped. That's right, people are finally starting to recognize this site for it's quality content and excellent writing.

Keep reading "PS2 Wish List and The Brenes Brothers"

Poker, Jak II, Bullies and Napkin Origami

I finally finished the project I've been slaving over in my free time, so I now have time for poker and video games yet again! Yay! Seriously, life's a grind when you're working 12 hour days. I don't care how much or how little you make - work sucks! I would seriously love to be able to wake up in the late morning, grab my coffee and sit myself down at 3 or 4 tables and grind away for the next 6 - 10 hours. However, at my current win rate of 2 or 3 cents an hour, there are not enough hours in the day for me to grind out any kind of living for myself or my family.

That being said, it's time to play some poker! Ah Thursdays! A night of good TV and shitty poker results. Since starting my goal of 100 SNGs in 100 days, I've done nothing but bleed cash. As of November 5th, I'm down about $20 total. In the grand scheme of things, I guess that's not too bad. Lately, it seems that all the good luck I had in the first 6 months of my poker career has been turned into bad the last two months. I will heed the warnings of the poker pros and bloggers out there and try not to put too much stock on the short term variance. I know that the long run results depend on making good short term decisions - sometimes it's hard to remember that.

Since I started my new SNG goal, I've only played 5 SNGs. Of those five, I've only made it 3 times and failed to come even close on my other two attempts. As I mentioned in previous posts though, my play as of late has been much more relaxed and I've been making some pretty good (albeit somewhat weaker-tighter than I'm used to) decisions. I haven't been gorging myself on poker lately for various reasons. The most likely reason is that I haven't been winning all that much. I'm giving the universe a chance to re-align itself so that flops start coming my way and I start getting dealt some quality hands.

One thing I do hate is getting dealt hands that are almost good. I'm talking about mainly about your Ax, Kx and Qx hands where x < T (can you tell I've done some math in my time). The biggest problem that I have with these hands is not the fact that I have to lay them down - it is the fact that I lay them down and shitty players seem to always win with them. If anything, you have to respect the sheer fearlessness that some of the fishy players display, either due to the size of their bankrolls or their ignorance of the dynamics of poker. I sometimes wonder if I'd be any better if I was just a little more ignorant of everything. I did quite well at poker when I used to think that any ace or any king was a good hand - good old WPT poker!

What I'm trying to say is that I'll be playing some poker tonight and I'm hoping that I'll win. Not by virtue of my skill nor of my patience: I want to win by catching big flops, runner-runner flushes and a number of rockets and cowboys. Man that would be sweet. I'll most likely play 3 SNGs tonight, probably at Tiger, Eurobet and Interpoker. Wish me luck...

--

For any gamers out there, I'm now 67% of the way through Jak II. Man, some of the missions are damned hard. Maybe I'm just getting old and my reflexes are going to shit? Although if Grandma can do it, so should I be able to beat the various old and new games out there!

Anyway, I'm trying to finish of Jak II and RE 4 right now, then I'm on to Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Sweet! Once I've finished this batch of games, I'm trading 'em in for some RPGs - I'm going full-on nerd!

Well, I'll post more later today if I get a chance.

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Good news for fans of The Law School Dropout's Poker Blog: he's decided to keep running his blog into the new year. Great blog about a guy who's done extremely well in the arena of online poker. Check out his $40K Surgery Recovery Challenge - unbelievable!

While your at it, check out some of the other blogs and sites listed to the right. They are all worth your time as long as your into poker (look under Poker Blogs) or video games (look under Video Games).

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Here's a weird keyword search that found my site: how tofold napkins.com. I had a typo in one of my entries and I guess it caused this site to come up as the number one choice when learning how tofold napkins.

Another case of mistaken identitiy: bully don't back down from a fight. I guess this site came up again due to a comment I made about not backing down from a fight at the poker table when someone raises it up against you. Other than that, I can provide no help in the matter of standing up to bullies.

Going through school as a kid, I was in three fights total and for all of them, I was not really aware that it was a fight. In two of them, I just stood there and took my lumps: I've got a pretty big head and it can take a lot of punishment. Plus, I think the guys punching my skull ended up with far more bruises and cuts than me. In the last fight, I got beat up by a guy 4 years older than me for no reason. Freak show! Anyway, no cuts or bruises came from any of these "fights".

As for standing up against bullies, my advice is to always rat the guy out to the appropriate authorities. Help start him down the road to being someone's prison bitch! All bullies everywhere are retarded and weak and they pee in their pants always! If you're a bully and you're reading this, relish the fact that your life is going nowhere except perhaps Cell Block D.

If the bully retaliates after being sent to detention or prison or the end of the lunch line, then pay an even-bigger guy to take him out! No matter how big you are , there is always someone bigger. Never try to be a hero - play the role of the evil genius and take the low road when dealing with someone who's bullying you. By the way, when I say take out, I mean a swift kick to the nads and not something more sinister. Kids today are f*cked in the head - who the hell brings guns and knives to school? Once you've hit a guy in the nads, fight's over. Take his milk money and leave it alone.

Keep reading "Poker, Jak II, Bullies and Napkin Origami"

Congrats J.!

No poker news yet again (I know, this is the crappiest poker blog ever!).

However, I do have a piece of great news. A dear friend of mine, we'll call her J., was diagnosed with liver cancer earlier this year. Although she stayed positive during the initial diagnosis and following aggressive chemo treatments, nothing was really helping her and the cancer was growing.

Three months ago, J. went down to some specialists in London (Ontario) to see about getting a radioactive slurry of various drugs injected straight into her liver. Just prior to performing the procedure for a second time, they told J. that the cancer had grown since the last treatment and she only had about 3 months left...Fuckers! I know doctors need to be realistic, but why take away someone's hope?


Anyway, when they asked J. and her husband whether or not they should go ahead with the treatment, she said yes and they proceeded to flood her entire liver with radiation. The doctors were worried that J. might go into liver failure due to the dangerous procedure performed but she made it through.

So what's good about today? Today is exactly three months to the day when the doctors told J. that she only had 3 months left. At this time, the cancer is shrinking and J. feels great! I never put any stock into the doctors' prognosis since I know J. and knew that she'd pull through. I guess good thoughts and the occasional prayer do go a long way.

That's it...I just wanted to say Congrats to my friend for making it through the tough times. Now, with Christmas just around the corner and celebrations sprouting up all over the place, it's great that everyone will be able to relax and really enjoy the holiday season.

Actually, J. and her family and friends are having a big party tonight with lots of food. Here's what's being served (I love food so I might as well write about it):


  • Spinach dip: Seriously, spinach dip is the pinnacle of hors d'oeuvres and snacking goodness!

  • Zucchini sticks: Zucchini sticks are pretty damned good too. Not my favourite, although I've been known to pack away a pound or two of these puppies in one sitting.

  • Mozzarella sticks: Battered and fried cheese...need I say more? The only problem I've ever found with cheese sticks is that there's never enough. Knowing J. though, she'll have these out in full force tonight.

  • Breaded dry garlic pork: J. explained these things as breaded pork with awesome seasoning on it. Sounds delicious! Snack foods with meat in them are always at the top of my list!

  • Swedish meatballs: Given a good enough sauce, you don't even need to chew these puppies. I've been known to go through these things like duck swallowing hunks of bread thrown by a park-bench granny. Just make to always check the meatball for a cleverly hidden toothpick before swallowing - I've learned the hard-way...you do something like that, it hurts twice!

  • Veggies and dip: "For everyone else - I'm sticking with the spinach dip!" according to J.


Unfortunately, duty calls for me and I have to finish off my project tonight. Otherwise, I'd be at the party in a heartbeat. Actually, J. lives about an hour or so away, so that's about 6000 heartbeats for me (or 8000 if traffic's really bad and pissing me off).

But, before I start feeling too guilty about not making it to the party tonight, my wife and I are having a Christmas bash on Saturday night and J. and a bunch more friends are all coming over to La Casa de Klopzi (is that Spanish or am I high?) for the celebrations. In honour of J.'s miraculous recovery and general "Fuck You!" to disease in the world, I'm picking up a tub of Spicy Nacho Cheese Dip as per J.'s request. J.'s lost weight over the past year being sick but I'll do my best to put that weight back on her this Saturday; heck, I've proven it's possible just by looking at my own expanding waistline.

That's all for today! No game talk, no poker talk - I'm just happy that things are working out well for my friends and loved ones!

--

Another quick note: tonight should be the last night (I'm hoping) of me working double-shifts for the next little while. I can't wait to get back to my wife, friends, poker and video games. Ho ho ho! Let the holidays begin...starting tomorrow or the day after when this darned project is done.

Keep reading "Congrats J.!"

How you doin'?

I've got some more keyword fun to write up later (I don't know if "fun" is the right word though), but first, a little pimping.

A quick shout out to The Poker Night Posse for putting up a link to this site. It's always nice when someone links to you without your knowing about it - like waking up one morning and realizing that it's Christmas. Well, maybe not that good, but I think you catch my drift.

I guess this means that I'll need to start playing more poker...

--

I'm currently reading over the Pokerama-rama poker blog and I've noticed that the author, Chad, went through something similar to what I'm experiencing now. It's a feeling of slight indifference to poker, an inability to regain the fire that once burned so strongly but has quickly reduced itself to no more than dimming ember with the occasional thin stream of smoke. For me, this passion left when I realized that I will never make as much playing poker as I do working and that, unless I'm under-estimating my abilities, I will never be a big-time pro player.

Then again, as I'm writing this, I remember the countless hours I've spent dominating whole tables in both limit and tournament play. Although the results were sometimes less than spectacular, the feeling of control and power existed nonetheless. As I continue toward my goal of 100 SNGs in 100 days, I hope that the confidence and abilities that I once displayed (albeit at the micro-limit tables) will return with a vengeance. I hope to grow beyond the player I am now.

Then again, wasting time playing video games is cool too...

--

Some more weird keyword searches...

I guess somebody has some time to kill and didn't mind prowling the Internet for some NSFW fun. Using Google's blogsearch, a reader found his way to Klopzi's Mediocre Poker while performing the following search: vegas boobs. Another search, another pissed off user complaining about the false advertising on this site. Serves him right though - why Vegas boobs? Maybe he's into tassels, glitter, or showgirls? Hopefully this doesn't make me a pr0n site...

Other than that, lots of people have been finding their way here trying to gain information about instant bankroll. One word for those out there looking for information about PokerSourceOnline's Instant Bankroll promotion: I did it and it was great! If they still offer it (I can't check due to firewall at my workplace), it's totally worth it!

--

On the videogame front, I've finished reading the all of Old Grandma Hardcore
and it's really made me want to log some serious PS2 hours. Alas, work will make me it's bitch for the next two nights. But hopefully I'll get some time this weekend. I'd like to pick up an RPG or two (Growlanser Generations (a compilation of two games) seemed to really do it for Grandma and she seems to have similar tastes in games) and I really want to try Silent Hill 3 or Fatal Frame II...mind you, Resident Evil 4 almost gave me a heart attack the other night...

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By the way, if anyone out there really wants any sign up codes for Interpoker or Party Poker, drop me an e-mail at klopzi@gmail.com and I'll hook you up. I'm not going to incorporate any sign up codes into my site until I get at least one person who shows interest. And remember that if you do plan on playing like a m*ther-f*cker, your best bet is to get a rakeback deal set-up.

However, feel free to make purchases using my Amazon affiliate links...although, in the spirit of Christmas, you could also donate some time or money to those less fortunate: someone out there needs to make up for my selfishness. I'll get better in time, I hope...

Keep reading "How you doin'?"

I don't wanna work...

Just a quick note to let everyone know that any posts over the next few days will probably not be poker-related (at least not in the sense of MY poker exploits) since I'm not going to have time to play poker. Or video games. Or enjoy my free-time in any way, shape or form.

I worked until 2:30 this morning and am back at work. Last night's fiasco will most likely be repeated over the next couple nights in order to meet a deadline, so life gets put on hold for the sake of my job. I swear, if I wasn't getting paid for this shit, I would definitely give it up and play poker and video games full-time (well, my job would be poker, as annoying and heart-attack inducing as that sounds, and video games would give me my stress relief).

However, I will try and update the blog with useless shit and maybe some random poker shizzle - we'll see. The deadlines here at the office are less pressing than those outside of the office, so I do have some time to waste talking to my three readers (I may only have one left after the second hiatus though).

That's it for now - gonna have breakfast and do my daily blog rounds. Have a great day everyone! It's -25 Celsius outside with windchill (for any US readers, that's like -500 Fahrenheit or something) - but the Sens beat Colorado 6-2 last night (Sakic? More like Suck-ic...that's gay...I'm tired...actually, Sakic's pretty good...but Alfredsson better), so it's all good.

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For anyone who cares, I've changed the main page layout to show only snippets of my blog entries with links to the full entries as required. I only made this change for the last 20 or so posts, but I'm hoping it makes the main page load a little quicker for my two readers.

Ok, back to work...

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Jebus! 36 hits so far today...freakshow! I guess I should start posting worthless crap more often.

Actually, I just finished updating this damned thing so that my posts actually appeared unaltered after clicking the "Keep reading" link. I guess putting a DIV tag inside of a SPAN tag has weird effects. Shouldn't I know this seeing as how I'm an Internet applications designer (ie. web monkey)? Probably...and that's why they pay me the big bucks!

Seriously, I've got work to do now...I'll be back when I'm bored though.

Keep reading "I don't wanna work..."

Spanked by the SNGs and Jak II

Well, I managed to piss away most of my weekend working...I'll tell you, this is the last time that I attempt to work on more than one project at a time. It's unreal how much of a life suck work can be - and working on both days on the weekend is ungodly. Anyway, through it all, I managed to squeeze in some time for video games and poker.

First off, in the past few weeks, I've played 3 games on PS2: Resident Evil 4, Sly 2: Band of Thieves, and Jak II.

RE4 is a great game - scary as shit though! I don't handle jump scares very well and this game deals them out in spades. Last night, some fiery body came jumping out at me from an oven or something and I almost crapped my pants before shooting the thing down with my trusty shotgun. Anyway, it's taken a while but I'm working my way through the game's last chapter. Hopefully the game will be done soon assuming that I can beat work into submission and actually pick up some free time again.

Sly 2: Band of Thieves is a great game. I started and finished the game in a 4 day span and it was great, start to finish! Can't wait to pick up Sly 3...

Jak II, on the other hand, is still pretty good. The gameplay is good, the dialogue is funny, the story is ok. My two big complaints though:


  1. Why do I have to make my way through the city just to get from mission to mission? If I wanted to play GTA, I'd play GTA. It's frustrating and time consuming making your way through a city that's filled with guards who converge on you as soon as you make any slight towards a single citizen. For example, if I'm on my hoverboard and I happen to smash into some guy walking down the street, sirens start going off and I start getting attacked by all sorts of guards, vehicles and turrets. Seriously, I can do without that nonsense.

  2. Why does the game have to be so damned hard? I'm no slouch in the video game department, having spent the larger portion of my formative years in front of computer monitors and game consoles. The missions, while fun, tend to boil down to extremely frustrating bouts of trial and error. Other times, certain missions take a half-hour or so of practice before getting it right (I hate that too cuz I never really want that big a challenge). And that's saying nothing about the crappy in-game mapping and objective marking.


Video game props and rants finished...now on to poker.

--

I managed to squeeze in five SNGs this weekend (well, on Friday night and Saturday evening). Here's a quick recap:

InterPoker $5 + $1 (Friday 9:50 PM):
This one was lost pretty early when I lost with my AJ in the big blind versus the CO's A7. My mistake came in not raising pre-flop, I suspect. Anyway, the pot is 4-handed and the flop comes x A A. Sweet! Trips! I check, hoping to check-raise or slow-play. I mean, I've got a big hand and am looking to double up here. Turn is 7 and I'm now playing from behind. I put out a half-pot-sized bet and get called by two of the players. When the river is a rag, I bet 200 into the 360 pot as a value bet. One caller then the CO raises it up another 200. At this point, I suspect I'm up against a full-house but have to call since there's no way I'm folding my trip aces. I mean, the CO just limped PF, so he could be playing some Ax without having the boat. Anyway, after that hand I'm almost out. I eventually lose when I push all in UTG with a 74o (we were in level 4 and I needed to double up before the blinds hit me) - although I hit a 4 on the flop, an ace came on the river to pair one of my two opponents and I was out in fifth spot.

Although I lost, I don't feel that I played too poorly, except for missing the PF raise with my AJ (possibly - a lot of people don't like AJ that much early in tournament and I am one of those people).

InterPoker $5 + $1 (Friday 10:25 PM):
Yet again, I think I played ok. I managed to stick it out a while even though I was card dead and/or missing flops for most of the SNG. Finally, with T1700 left (started with T1000) and with the blinds at 40/80, I make it 240 to go with my AJs from late position. A couple callers and the flop comes down Q x x. I put out a half-pot-sized bet and only the guy in the SB calls. When the turn comes down with a K, I put out another bet hoping that the SB will be scared off - nope, he calls. When the river comes down with a rag, I decide to save my money and check it down. SB shows 78o for a pair of eights. Dirty calling station! I keep forgetting that even if I would fold bottom pair to heavy bets from the PF raiser, a lot of players won't. So, Mr. Calling Station is now the chip leader with T2000.

The very next hand, I pick up AK and I raise it to T240 PF from late middle position. Mr. Calling Station is on the button and decides to push all-in, as he had done on many previous occasions when faced with a PF raise. I was hoping that he would see my raise as a potential steal and/or tilt play and I quickly called the all-in and we were heads up. Mr. Calling Station shows QQ (damn!) and it's a race. Flop comes down Q x K and it's all over. I didn't catch my runner-runner to win the hand and I was out in sixth.

Again, I played ok in this one too. I definitely overplayed my AJ. Had I been paying better attention, I would've noticed that I was up against a calling station. I was putting him on Ax and should have simply cut my losses when my flop bet was called. However, I think it's sometimes better to fire a couple times at the pot post-flop to make sure that people don't assume that your flop bets are just wild stabs at the pot.

TigerGaming $3 + $0.45 (Friday 10:55 PM):
After my previous two results, I thought I'd try the $3 SNG again in order to get some confidence back. This one ended early due to my excellent read on the chip leader in an early hand.

It's level 3 and with the blinds at 30/60 or something (I can't remember now), I raise 3xBB with my AQs pre-flop. Only the chip leader calls - I'm now looking to double up on the hand. Flop comes down 9 9 2. The chip leader min bets and I'm now sure that I'm ahead. The current chip leader would always follow up with a bet on every flop that he'd seen. Normally, that strategy is ok when your opponent's have missed the flop or have bad hands, but I was sure that I was ahead. I pushed all-in. Incredulously, the chip leader calls but I'm not worried. Chip leader shows an A7 and I'm way ahead and already counting my chips. That is, until the turn comes down with a 7 and I'm out in 4th place.

Although pushing all-in was a little risky, I was so sure that I was ahead and I trusted my read. Any possible mistake that I made is completely overshadowed by the fact that the chip leader made a horrid call with his A7. I will just have to look forward to the next time that he and I "dance".

TigerGaming $3 + $0.45 (Friday 11:20 PM):
Fourth time's the charm, right?

Nope. I was totally overpowered for the entirety of this sit n' go. Everyone was getting monster hands but me. I saw one player flop the nuts 5 hands in a row and another guy flop 7 straights by playing absolute garbage. Although I managed to make it to third spot (just by sitting back and watching the carnage), I eventually lost when my open-ended nut straight draw and flush draw ran into a flopped straight. I pushed all-in with my draws and was insta-called and I insta-lost when I didn't improve on the turn or the river.

This game definitely invoked a feeling of helplessness in me and I decided that I should probably stop playing for the night.

InterPoker $5 + $1 (Saturday 10:55 PM):
I made a great call early in the game against the chip leader. Similar to the incident on Friday night, I raised PF with my AJs and only the chip leader called. He had position on me and when I checked on a flop of 7 7 3, he pushed all-in. Hmmmm...would the chip leader push all-in with trips? Nope - where's the payoff? Would he push all in with a 3? I was sure the chip leader was not holding a 3 since there's no way that he would've called my PF raise with any hand holding a 3 given the types of hands that he'd shown down. Could he be holding a pocket pair? Possibly, although most likely not a quality pocket pair since he hadn't re-raised me pre-flop. He may have been slow-playing rockets or something, but it was still early enough in the SNG where slow-playing quality hands is a little foolish (again, I may be mistakenly applying logical thought towards an opponent's illogical actions). Anyway, I go with my gut and call the all-in and the chip leader shows AT! This time, I win the hand and all was right in the universe. I was up to T1900 and had the chip lead.

From that point, I coasted until there were only 4 of us left. The short stack delivered 4 consecutive bad beats to the chip-leader and this left me as the short stack. I worked my up to T2000 by mercilessly stealing the blinds whenever the button passed my way and I was in a good position to finish in the top three.

In my last hand, I pick up ATs on the button and pushed all-in to steal the blinds and/or double up if I got a weak caller. Well, the chip leader in the SB called my all-in. Uh oh! He turned over JJ and although I hit a ten on the flop, I didn't improve any further and I was out in 4th.

All in all, I think I played pretty well this weekend if I completely ignore the actual SNG results and base my results solely on how I played. I think I had good reads on people and made some good calls to force other players to hit some 3,4 or 5 outers against me.

Oh well, revenge will be mine!

--

With sweet, sweet poker calling me back to its bosom, I decided to shell out the $25 from my Neteller account to purchase PokerAce. If I'm going to keep playing these SNGs, I'm gonna need some funds. And what better way to get funds than to play some limit poker again. I'm gonna have to stick with the 0.50/1 games, but I'll see if I can get that game back on track.

Before you get too excited, I'm still not planning on playing that much poker....for now. If my results start picking up again, we'll see. But for now, I'm taking it slowly.

--

After a bit of reading over at Old Grandma Hardcore, I've decided on a number of games that I'd like to play over the next little while, Fatal Frame II and III and Psychonauts to name a couple.

The write up of Grandma trying to beat Psychonauts is hilarious! Do yourself a favour and head on over...funny,funny stuff. I can't wait until I can sit around and swear at the latest video game that I'm playing...actually, I do that now. Usually, I only say two words over and over though: Mother Fucker. I think those two words adequately sum up my rage with any game that I'm playing or any poker game that I happen to be sitting in.

Usually, in poker, it's "you stupid fucker!" or "don't tell me...you stupid fuck!" - normally, these are reserved for situations when I've got my money in with the best of it and someone has to either hit a 3 outer because I've got them dominated or are on a flush draw to the 8-high flush! Why do I get upset in these situations? I have what is clinically called "Bad Luck". Any chance that an oppponent has to reverse dominate me or hit his flush quickly becomes reality, shredding away the last of my sanity. I know that in the long run, you want your money in with the best of it. But seriously, there will come a point when my bankroll won't give a shit about the long run and will be run into the ground.

So, have you checked out OGHC yet? The Law School Dropout? What about Al? Or Pauly? You know you wanna - so do it and tell 'em Klopzi sent you.

Keep reading "Spanked by the SNGs and Jak II"

The road to mediocrity

It seems that I've been getting quite a few hits lately - and by quite a few, I mean 3 or so a day. Sweet!

Anyway, I decided to find out how people are getting here. Well, I've got some time to kill right now, so let's [it's embarrassing to write as if people are reading this when I know for a fact that most posts go completely unread - I blame the multiple hiatuses that I've taken and not my boring, useless blog] take look at some stats.

Keyword Searches:
So far, I think that Google is definitely winning the race when it comes to searches that lead people to this site. My log only holds the last 100 pageloads, so I'm sure that MSN and Yahoo both contribute as well...just not as much. I don't "Yahoo", so I couldn't care less.

Anyway, here are some recent searches that have led Internet users astray and dropped them here:

  1. pokerace hud registration

  2. law school dropout poker blog

  3. how to clear instant bankroll promotion

  4. matt maroon's poker screen name

  5. poker dominator

  6. poker tips blog - blogger - blogspot

  7. omaha sng

  8. how to be a dealer fo tigergaming

  9. interpoker type no limit pot limit nl fl pl

  10. t2215 trim

  11. level 3: no limit poker noise

Did I really have to list each and every last keyword search? Yes...yes I did. It's funny, I can only see two or three users actually benefiting by coming here. The rest of those searches are weird and/or crap. I'll do my best to provide some answers to those in need.

How to be a dealer for TigerGaming?
I hope I can sit at a table with this guy. If you would like to be a dealer for an Internet Poker Room, send me $5 and a list of your top 3 sites that you would like to deal at and I will get you an interview. If you get hired, I will take the usual 10% consulting fee for recommending you to the respective companies. And before I get sued by whomever, I'm totally kidding. If you want to be a dealer for TigerGaming, I'd recommend following the "Tron" route - other than that, you're S.O.L.

Looking for the Law School Dropout's Blog?
Look no further.

Matt Maroon's screen name?
Good luck on finding that one...he probably keeps his identity secret, especially now that his new book has hit the shelves (haven't read it myself, heard mixed reviews...). Now, I'm not famous or good, so you can find me pretty well anywhere using the name Klopzi or any other combination of names that use the letters KLOPZI. You'll know it's me if I don't chat and type in only "nh" when you got lucky and "thx" or "got lucky..." when I totally outplayed your sorry ass. If you out-play me, I just get up and leave...

t2215 Trim?
WTF? Try bikiniwax.blogspot.com. And yes - that site actually exists. I wanted to make sure it wasn't something offensive before I posted the link. Say "hello" for me...

No limit poker noise?
Kinda sounds like "Phwoot Phwoot Phwoot ..." when the cards are being dealt, and "Clinkety-clink" when someone places a bet. Oh, and "Woo-hoo" and "Bam! Bang! Boom!" when you win and you're playing on the Party or WPC network.

For all the rest of you looking for poker tips, here you go:

  • Play only quality cards (AA-88, AKs - ATs) from early position

  • Loosen up your starting requirements as you approach the button

  • If you see one or two people dominating the table, just leave - it's not worth it

  • Don't be afraid to raise pre-flop with many hands if you think you can get some players to fold or if you have a really good hand.

  • Don't play against any poker bloggers before you've got some experience under your belt - for all the bitching and moaning they may do from time to time, these guys are all pretty f*cking good (I am the exception, of course...really, I'm not even kidding).
My top referrers:
This is a pretty small list:

  1. Al Can't Hang
    Funny blog - read it! What the hell are you waiting for? Go!

  2. Jeays.net
    Need to solve your Rubik's Cube? Want to read about video games, poker and everything in between? Then this is the place for you!
That's it! My log file only goes back 100 pageloads, as I said earlier, so I don't have anything else on my referrers.

Ok, I'm bored - no more stats shit. I don't get enough hits to make this interesting. I need to add some spicier keywords to my site to generate the hits, without resorting to typing out various pr0n star names and naming off the dirtier parts of the human anatomy. Morally, I also want to make sure that anyone who comes to this site searching for something actually gets what they're looking for. So, without further ado:

How about GET RICH QUICK? You could GET RICH QUICK by playing poker online. I can't do it, but I know for a fact that others do. How about GREAT DEALS - there are lots of great bonuses available all over the place. And there's also: Christmas, boobs, beer, wine, how to cook a great turkey, stuffing recipes, Christmas cookies, squares, free toys, hot girls, hot guys, ask Santa, and beef jerky.

Ok, so I cheated - it's my blog and I want hits.

--

By the way, I've finished reading Dr. Pauly's Tao of Poker. Pauly definitely leads a far different lifestyle than one I've ever lead or could ever lead. He's got the goods and you're doing yourself a disservice by not reading what Pauly has to say.

I'm now reading Pokerama-rama. He seems like an ordinary guy playing a similar style to me (at least in May 2004). I always like reading blogs from the beginning - you get to watch players grow and get better at what they do. You follow them through their ups and downs, their "I'm the greatest phases" and their "Poker sucks and I'm on hiatus" phases, their "I'm saving up for Vegas" phases and their "I lost 50% of my bankroll playing $5/$10 on Party" phases...Here's hoping that Pokerama-rama provides all the suitable ups and downs - so far, so good!

--

Stay tuned for my PS2 pimp post! I was gonna do it today, but I'm running out of time. Have a great weekend everyone!

My plans for the weekend: quality time with my wonderful wife (Klopzette? Mrs. Klopzi? Anyone?), work, videogames and a bit of poker. Plus, the Sens are playing the Canucks tonight at 10 PM EST. I am so there (on my couch, not at the game) and I'm bringing my poker game to the table as well. Time to get my confidence back! Time to make some money! Time to show the world that Klopzi is back and he's pissed off...actually, I'm quite content both in current happenings on and off the poker table, but it makes for better print if I make it look like I'm out for blood.

It's good to be back...until I go on hiatus again, that is...Still, I'll enjoy it while I can.

--

Quick note: I typically avoid using the spell checker because I find it annoying and it adds a lot of useless overhead. That being said, I'm gonna use it for this post since I seem to be suffering from "Fat Fingers" today and I'm hammering multiple keys at once.

-

One last post today...I ran across a hilarious site and trust me when I tell you that it sounds dirty but is not. The site is Old Grandma Hardcore and it is about a grandmother who loves playing videogames. As a casual gamer myself, I find it absolutely hilarious and this site will get a permanent pimping spot on my site.

A little warning though: Grandma has a pretty filthy f*cking mouth, so be ready to see the f-bomb dropped a few times here and there.

Keep reading "The road to mediocrity"

A fine line

I ended up playing couple SNGs at TigerGaming last night while watching Survivor and The Apprentice.

I came in 5th out of 6 in the first one. Basically, with the blinds at 50/100, there were still 5 people left in the game. [Is it just me or are players getting better?] Anyway, I only had 600 in chips left (I was card dead). I limp in with 86o from the big blind. Flop comes down 7 8 9 rainbow. The chipleader in the SB min-bets into the pot. I decide that now's as good a time as any to try to double up so I push. The other two players in the pot fold and the chip leader insta-calls showing his 97o for two pair. Unfortunately, I didn't improve and was out.

Seriously, I've always prided myself on being better than average at most things that I do. I'm a better-than-average software designer - for what I charge, any employer should be pretty happy with my results. Videogames? I can beat the pants off most people in any game - well, console games anyway. Board games? Ditto. Card games? Ditto. By no means am I rich or famous, but I've got everything I need right now: great wife and (coming sometime in the next year or two) family, good friends, good food and drink, good job, and lots of cool toys. For these reasons, poker is a kick square in the nuts for me. Why can't I dominate this damn game? I've read the books and still I'm floundering at the micro-limit tables. I guess it just takes time and I'll have to re-evaluate at the end of 2006 before I can really assess my growth as a player. I've only played about 17000 hands of limit poker, about 150 SNGs (100 of which were 0.10 + 0.02 SNGs) and at most 25 MTTs. I'm still a newbie and I have to remind myself of that fact before I take my losses and erratic play too personally. I mean, I'm still feeling the sting of being owned at the $1/$2 FL games. I didn't think I was that bad a player, but I got owned. The same "own-age" seemed to start occurring at the 0.50/1 FL games as well. I guess I'll have to give it more time...

Anyway, enough deep thoughts and crazily long paragraphs filled with run-on sentences. The second SNG that I played saw me take 2nd out of 6 for a whopping $6.30 prize. I was happy with my play in general. I doubled up when I got the chance, made a great river call on the eventual winner, and had my money all-in with the best of it in all but one hand.

For all the good plays that I made, it was all overshadowed by an aweful misstep on the final hand. With the blinds at 200/400 and with my chip stack at 1500 vs. chip leaders 3500, I decided to raise to 800 PF with my J5s on the button - it was heads up and I had just folded a bunch of trash hands in a row and I didn't want the chip leader to raise me out the pot yet again. Plus, after a string of cards like 72, 73, 93, 92, 63, etc., a J5s looks like the f*cking nuts! Anyway, my opponent quickly re-raises me to 1200. My options now are simple: fold or push. I should've folded but I pushed and was just south of a 4 to 1 dog when the chip leader turned over KK. I guess I got impatient and desperate...the mistake was not in pushing all in - I f*cked up when I decided to play the J5s. Obviously, the chip leader had made it clear that limping was no longer allowed. So if I flat called on the button, I was going to get raised and would have to fold. I should've folded the hand PF and waited for the next hand. I may have been steaming a bit from a previous hand where I had the cowboys and got very little action.

Still, I ended up down 90 cents on the night. But I shouldn't be worrying about the money for now...

--

Here are some new goals that I've set for myself and my poker game:


  1. Try to regain my love of the game by playing for fun and not worrying about the money.

  2. Play 10 $3 SNGs at TigerGaming and try to make it into the top three 7 times.

  3. Play 30 $5 SNGs at Eurobet and get an ITM of more than 30%

  4. Play 30 $5 SNGs at Interpoker and get an ITM of more than 30%

  5. Play 30 $5 SNGs at IntertopsPoker (now part of the Party Network again) and get an ITM of more than 30%



I'll stick with that for now. How long will this take? I'll aim for an average of 1 SNG per day. That means 100 days...I hope in that time that I find my game and start feeling good about poker again. I may throw in some limit play again if I feel the need, however I want to leave time to play some videogames too (I am such a nerd and I love it!). There are some games that I want to pick up at some point. I'll make another post today (slow day at work) outlining what games I have and what games I want. I'll do my own reviews of the games I've played during my poker hiatus and provide some links if you feel the need to buy anything (I need to the money to fund my money-losing poker addiction).

--

BTW, bankroll's sitting at about a grand right now. As I mentioned a while ago (I think), I took $300 and bought my PS2 and some games. I give a final bankroll breakdown at the end of the year.

Since starting my bankroll and SNG performance anew on November 5 (after PokerDominator's horrific crash in the fall that resulted in my losing all my records, I've had the following SNG results:

Freerolls:
Played: 2
Won: $0
Avg. Finish: 5.5
ITM %: 50%

$3 SNGs
Played: 9
Won: -$18.45
Avg. Finish: 3.4
ITM: 22%

$5 SNGs
Played: 14
Won: $48.50
Avg. Finish: 3.5
ITM: 50%

Blogger Tourneys
Played: 2
Won: -$22.00
Avg. Finish: 43
ITM: 0%

Not too shabby I guess. I had one good weekend on the $5 tables that knocked my numbers up, but the blogger tourneys definitely bring my numbers down.

Ok, stay tuned for more keyword search fun and some blatant videogame pimping.

Keep reading "A fine line"

Still kickin'

Well, it's been a little while, but I thought I'd give a quick update on my state of mind and my state of play.

I've been playing a lot of PS2 lately, so I haven't really had time to play much poker. I think I've played about 4 SNGs since I last posted with disastrous results. I've been running cold lately and that's most likely contributed to my laissez-faire attitude regarding poker. However, tonight I'll give it a shot again and we'll see - I always like playing poker a lot more when I'm winning.

I've seriously started to doubt my ability to be a winning player. I don't have the time or the will to really invest in my growth as a player - I've read the books and don't feel like reading much more for the time being. I find myself somewhat burned out from the process of fully investing my every waking thought into poker as I did back this past summer and in the fall. My main concerns seem to stem from the fact that I win when I get good cards and lose when I get bad cards - this seems a lot like luck to me. If I need good cards to win, then how can I ever be a winning player? I tend to be pretty unlucky in marginal situations as well, so I'd rate my ability to win anything at slightly less than the most average of players out there.

Am I being too hard on myself? I don't know. For the time being, I'll keep playing PS2 and playing the occasional SNG and I'll see where that takes me. With work being far busier lately than it has been in the past little while, it definitely makes it harder for me to play poker. When I'm tired or run down, I find it difficult to gather up the will or brainpower needed to take on other players who are far more rested or "into" the game than I am.

Anyway, there are a sh*tload of reload offers out there and deposit bonuses as well for anyone who cares. I still haven't purchased a copy of PokerAce HUD so I've stayed away from limit play. All these little programs have made me lazy and stupid when playing limit and I fear that I need any edge I can get to win.

Basically, if anyone out there has been through a similar phase in their development as a poker player, I'd appreciate hearing about it. I need to know whether what I'm feeling is normal or whether I've just totally lost it (game-wise and sanity-wise) and should give up the game. Is it possible to balance family, work, poker and leisure? Please, let me know...

Have a great weekend everyone (if I don't write again this week...I may have some time tomorrow...)!

Keep reading "Still kickin'"