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Party On!

I decided to stick with the 6-max limit hold'em last night instead of grinding out the Omaha/8 games. I felt like playing poker and wanted to challenge myself. I'd spent my commute to and from work watching a couple 6-max LHE videos and I was in the mood to play.

Keep reading "Party On!"

H1N1 Vaccinations and Losing Sessions

Anyone else concerned about the H1N1 virus? A second wave of this newest flu bug, also known as the "swine flu", is hitting Ottawa and things are bound to get ugly. There is a vaccine available but there are not enough clinics to handle the demand. Clinics are only open for six hours a day and the line-ups are so incredibly long (nine-hundred or more people) that most are turned away before the clinics even open their doors for the day. Canadian health care may be free but it's not the most efficient process around.

Keep reading "H1N1 Vaccinations and Losing Sessions"

Still Learning

It's amazing that I'm still so clueless about poker after all of these years. After four years of playing poker on a semi-regular basis and reading a ton of books on most forms of poker, I still have great difficulty with the game. I've tried to break into the mid-to-upper echelons of poker society but have been unable to post a winning record when I most needed it.

Keep reading "Still Learning"

Fighting the Good Fight

Anyone else out there desperately fighting the flu and other nasty viruses floating around? In the last couple of weeks, I've been sick three separate times and it's not getting any better. Today's symptoms including slight stomach ache, grogginess, and various nose/throat issues. I'll chalk up the stomach ache to the Hallowe'en candy that I ate last night. Diet's not going well but at least the trick-or-treaters won't have to worry about getting any delicious peanut-laden treats from my house. I'm not eating poorly: I'm performing a community service.

Keep reading "Fighting the Good Fight"

A Wiggly Weekend

It felt good to play poker again last night! I only logged around 80 hands of Omaha/8 and NLHE over the course of two hours but it was fun. I lost a couple real-life dollars but earned some much appreciated Sklansky Bucks in O/8 - par for the course. For the first time in a month, I'm actually planning on playing poker this weekend.

Keep reading "A Wiggly Weekend"

Déja Vu?

I started to feel poker calling my name yesterday morning. I was shaving at the time and thought, "I'd really like to play some poker". I've honestly given up trying to figure out the ebb and tide of my desire to play poker. For better or worse, poker is a part of my life now. It's more than a hobby, ridiculous as that sounds given my lifetime results. I don't define my life in terms of poker but it's become a part of my self-identity. There's no point fighting it: I'll keep playing poker for as long as I can. Small stakes or high stakes: it makes no difference. There will always come a time when I'll feel like doing nothing other than kicking back, mouse in hand and virtual cards in the air.

Keep reading "Déja Vu?"

Guide to Poker

For all the talk of casino games and sports betting that I've done this week, my favourite form of gambling is poker. I like the control - or sense thereof - that I get from poker. When I take my seat at the felt, I'm in charge of my own destiny. I'm not sure what that says about my supposed "skill" when I'm unable to put together more than a couple winning sessions in a row. I honestly believe that poker is more skill than hobby, more lifestyle choice than carefree pastime.

Keep reading "Guide to Poker"

Looking Ahead

Is anyone else out there really getting worried about the future of online poker? As much as I want to devote myself fully into poker again, I think I'm really bummed about the December UIGEA deadline. I hate the fact that the future of online poker seems tethered to the success or failure of online poker in the United States.

Keep reading "Looking Ahead"

Betting Choice

My holiday weekend is now over. Not much has changed from last week to this week save for a slightly larger waistline and an urge to avoid further turkey and apple pie dietary supplementation. On the poker front, I'm still not feeling "it" at the moment. It's times like these that my mind and imagination wander. I start scouring the Internet for new and exciting ways to make money. Let me re-phrase that: I start looking for easy ways to make money. And if there's one thing that movies and the Internet have taught me it's that there's no easier way to make money than with gambling!

Keep reading "Betting Choice"

Guide To Casinos

I had my first really big meal of the Thanksgiving weekend yesterday morning. It wasn't turkey and stuffing; rather, it was a ridiculously large breakfast at a local restaurant. After finishing up everything on my plate (and a good deal of what my wife and kids couldn't finish on theirs), the waitress was kind enough to drop off the bill. It's at moments like those that I regret not having focused more on poker over the past few months. A little extra money is always a good thing. Nothing is more true with the holidays fast approaching.

Keep reading "Guide To Casinos"

Thanksgiving Weekend!

It's been a very busy week. Kids' birthdays are always an exhausting fare. Two kids' birthdays within 7 days of each other is so incredibly draining that I can't even begin to describe it. Basically, I'm tapped out.

Keep reading "Thanksgiving Weekend!"

Weekend at a Glance

Played O/8 on Friday Night. 300 hands. Lost $2.58. Better than losing $68...

Tried to finish Lost Odyssey on my Xbox 360. Failed.

Why?

Stomach bug hit me Sunday night.

Shakes started around 1:00 AM on Monday morning.

Body purged at 1:36 AM. Not a great experience but not as bad as I thought it would be.

Slept until noon Monday.

Considered playing poker despite cramping, dizziness, and general "blah" feeling.

Played video games instead.

What has two thumbs and hates flu season?

Keep reading "Weekend at a Glance"

Never Stop Learning

I chose to play video games instead of poker last night. I was too groggy and sickly to fire up Stars and start grinding. I did do one thing to improve my Omaha/8 game last night: I started reading the Omaha/8 section in Super System 2. Thanks to that little section of the book, I've come to realize that I've been making many mistakes in my recent play that have undoubtedly contributed to my poor results.

I've really got to force myself to be a patient poker player. In the loose, multi-way pots found at the low-stakes Omaha/8 games on Stars and Full Tilt, playing for the nuts is the most important thing. A naked low-draw or even the nut-low itself should sometimes be folded when I'm not holding a second wheel card or decent high-hand potential. And drawing to high-only hands on boards where a nut-low or strong nut-low draws could exist is not always wise.

I also think my aggression has been misplaced. For example, betting a hand like top set on a board with two low-cards (A through 8) into multiple players is not that great a move. My hand is vulnerable and no one is folding. If a bet isn't for value and won't limit the field, why bet at all? Sometimes it's best to apply a little pot control and wait for the turn to see if a favourable card peels off. In that case, it's a little easier to charge opponents for their draws. And it's also much easier to lay down my hand if the turn comes ugly and the chips start flying.

I think my best bet right now is to revert back to a basic style of play. Play fit or fold on the flop. Bet my made hands strongly when I have locked up one side of the pot and have a reasonable chance to scoop. Fold non-nut or marginal hands that have very little chance of improving or, even worse, improving to a second-best hand.

Poker's a hard game and Omaha/8 is no exception. If I want to start winning, I'll have to take a little more care to think through my actions at the table.

Weekend's almost here! I'm looking forward to a couple days of poker and finally finishing off Lost Odyssey for my 360 (which I first started playing in June of last year).

Before I leave for the weekend, I wanted to point out that the amount of thought that I've been putting into poker lately is affecting my dreams. I had a dream last night that I won a chance to be on Survivor. However, Survivor was actually going to play out at the final table of the WSOP.

After hearing that I'd be playing at the final table of the WSOP Main Event, Todd Brunson took it upon himself to give me some pointers. He also gave me a signed, leather-bound copy of his Stud/8 section from Super System 2. All in all, it was a pretty good dream despite its bizarre nature.

That dream was followed by a dream where I was Superman. I assured my oldest son that I would protect him from any harm forever and ever. When I took off my shirt this morning before showering, I saw no signs of the iconic "S" on my chest. All I saw was a flabby, hairy mess. That doesn't mean that I won't protect my son at all costs but I may need the rest of the Justice League to lend a helping hand from time to time

Have a great weekend everyone!

Keep reading "Never Stop Learning"

Poker Bug or Flu Bug?

I'm definitely coming down with something right now. I'm not sure if it's a cold, allergy, or some form of flu. I got a little extra sleep last night so I don't think it's a general lack of sleep. I'm not a doctor though. I'll down an energy drink tonight, take some cold medicine, and some pepto-bismol: that should just about cover everything.

I'm not sure if I'm going to play any Omaha/8 tonight. I'm torn between poker, watching TV with my wife, or trying to finish off Lost Odyssey on my Xbox 360. I would really like to make a push with my poker game this month. Last month was pretty good because I spent a lot more time thinking about poker than I have in a while. I know that I could definitely start producing better results if I just stick to my game plan and play.

I may have just convinced myself to play poker tonight. Ok, I'll throw in Freakazoid or The Office into my PS3 and grind out a bunch of hands. A nice relaxing evening of poker and laughter. And no matter happens, I'll have my wife to keep me company and leftover birthday cake to put a smile on my waist.

Have a good one!

Keep reading "Poker Bug or Flu Bug?"