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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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