Friday, February 22, 2008

The Post to End All Posts.

I've got to preface this post by saying I started writing this post at noon, while I was at work, through my email. I can't post from work, and I had plenty of things buzzing around in my head, so I started to write. I also suffered through The Wife's entire post about shoes. Why did I keep reading? I have no clue, but it was an inspiration for me to create this behemoth of a post. I dare anyone to read all the way through. I really doubt anyone will, because I bounce from World of Warcraft, to poker, to friends to bitching about poker, to a LIVE (then) REPORT at the Kat-less Donkament, to bitching about my play. It is truly a treat to read, I'm sure. There is so much rambling you won't possibly want to continue on, but that might just be where you surprise me. Good luck, god speed, and grab a pint of beer or a glass of wine and...

Hold onto your freaking hats. This is the big one.

I visited Tyler and Renee last night after work to check out their new Honda Fit. A new car is pretty exciting for anyone, but what makes it crazy for me is that Tyler was the one friend I had who wasn't chomping at the bit to get his driver's license when he turned 16. He didn't get his learner's permit until, well... last week! And he's driving around a new car. There is something awfully dangerous/risky about that to me. But, he and Renee are going to start a family, and having a vehicle (along with two drivers) is something that they understandably want to have.

It turned out to be a WoW raid night for Tyler, and his guild is trying the new final dungeon of the game. It was neat to spectate, but as you can probably imagine, it got boring after watching them wipe on the same boss a few times. The boss fight was pretty awesome though. I haven't done too much raiding in my MMORPG life, but the little I did in EQ, we pretty much had 40-50 people that all zerged a big dragon and tried to do as much damage and as much healing as possible and pray to God that we lived and the dragon died. On certain dragons or giants we had a little bit more strategy, but it basically boiled down to: kill the big thing, grab the loot.

The boss Tyler's guild was fighting last night, the first boss of the final dungeon, was... hmm... nuts. It is a huge water elemental. Think Neptune, the God of the Sea, but in water elemental form instead of human form. Or how about Ariel's dad from The Little Mermaid, but again, in water form. Big dude, big trident--you get the picture.

Or, if not:

Things have changed a bit since I last raided...

...and instead of just having one general strategy for each boss and giving it a minor tweak (hmm, fire boss, lets wear our fire resistance gear instead of water resistance gear--novel idea!), the bosses nowadays are insane. They poop out little guys every now and then, maybe there are four different bosses you have to fight at one time--it is just much more complex... and of course there is the 25-person cap as well. No more just finding everyone capable and storming in and slaying the dragon. Strategy and having capable players is the name of the game now. The unique thing about this water elemental boss is that he throws his spear every minute of the fight. When I heard that, I thought, 'cool, throws his spear, does some damage, good times.'

Sadly, no. Not good times. His spear sticks into whichever random person he throws it at, eventually killing them unless another person close by pulls it out of the unlucky impaled fool.

While the guild is running around trying to figure out who's been stuck with the spear, the boss puts up an invulnerable water shield which heals him quickly. How do you break the shield? Guesses? That's right, throwing the spear back at him. So whoever pulls out the spear from their friend, has to quickly throw it at the boss and break his shield. To add even more complexity, whenever the spear breaks his water bubble, it does a HUGE amount of damage to anyone near the bubble. The fight looks like a lot of fun, but it would be about as aggravating as Hoy's work situation. One teeny-tiny mistake by any of the 25 raiders and they wipe and start over again.

I knew what I was getting into before they began wiping on the boss, so I loaded up Full Tilt on Renee's computer and fired up two single-table SNG's, in attempt to fix my post-bubble blunders from the day before. Quite the opposite of the day before's huge chip leads and early exits, the two games I played last night played out in a much more familiar fashion. In both games, I hovered around the starting stack until we lost a few people, playing tight, but not really getting any cards. No suckouts, just solid play and snapping off a few continuation bets that seemed fishy.

I was the short stack heading into 5 handed play in one, and in the other I was one of two chip leaders, at around 4k. The day before, I made the mistake of trying to run over the table. I got trapped and decimated. This time, I decided to pick spots that were advantageous to me, as opposed to trying to force the issue. It worked out well, and I ended up getting heads up in both SNGs. In one, I held an 11k-2.5k lead, and in the other I had a similar deficit to overcome. I finished second in the one I was behind, pushing 99 into JJ preflop. In the heads up game I was ahead in, my opponent scratched and clawed his way nearly back to even, but both times he got close, I pulled off HUGE bluffs to regain a big chip lead. He was playing aggressive, but wasn't willing to go to war without the best hand. Heads up, I was playing passively, with sporadic surges of aggressiveness. I think this gave my bets a little more pop to them, because my opponent "knew" that he could fold, keep up the aggression and win those chips back. I didn't go all-in every hand, and folded plenty often, so when my tight, passive image helped me steal the big hands.

I think the general rule for a lot of us bloggers is to ramp up the aggression as the field dwindles, especially in SNGs. But I'm starting to realize that as my knowledge of tournament and SNG structure increases, if I keep a tight and somewhat passive image, my steals and re-steals gain more respect. In a meta-sense, I think the tight, aggressive approach is the way to go in tournament poker, but I like mixing it up and playing one level higher. They think I'm playing passively, and I am, but I know they are thinking this. I have far from mastered playing this way (oh, so far, as you will read soon...), but by playing passively for a few orbits, an intelligent player will have to change his game to take advantage of my passiveness. If that player's normal game isn't that aggressive, when I start to push back, they aren't really sure what to do.

I'll stop there, lest this turn into some sort of poker strategy post. That isn't what I'm all about. I don't want you guys getting any better than you already are, especially you damn Seattle bloggers. You know who you are. Steal my money once, shame on you. Steal my money twice? Never! Is Cayne going to throw another home game, or do you think we can throw together a little surprise or non-surprise welcome home Seattle blogger game for Dr. Chako at his place, using his liqour and his food? Ah, what a welcome home!

After finishing 1st and 2nd in my two SNG's last night, glad I shored up my leaky short-handed SNG problem, I bounced from Tyler's house and headed home. The cats needed feeding, and I needed to get some math homework under my belt. When it comes to math homework, I've got a very good attitude about getting it done, I'm just terrible at following through. When I left Tyler's house, I thought, 'I'm going to go home, sit down at the table and work on math for an hour!' What do I do? Get home, feed the cats, check the internets, eat, watch Survivor, and THEN do 30 minutes of math between Survivor and a WSOP rerun. I planned to get back to the math, like the good student I pretend to be, but I got side-tracked by Jessica being online at the same time as me for the first time since I found her on Facebook two weeks ago.

She's got some nice pictures up on facebook:

I've brought my prop-bet degeneracy to renewed friendship already. Seeing how she is coming down to Seattle next month to visit her co-ed sister for spring break, it makes perfect sense to get a few games of scrabble in, to win some free booze off of her. Our first game of scrabble was for a pitcher of beer, which I won handily. She claims that she didn't know the different color tiles mean different point values. I find it hard to believe that anyone doesn't know that there are triple letter, double word scores and the like, but she is kicking my ass in the second game with this knowledge, so... shit. We're playing winner gets to decide the next game, but she sneakily started up a second game of scrabble before the first was over. I didn't buckle though, and since we were online at the same time yesterday, I requested her presence at the Naval Command table.

It was getting late, so I brought the laptop upstairs and got under the covers for some long-distance, platonic, electronic--snuggling.

Yes, Naval Command.

You may remember it better as Battleship, but we all know that would be copy-right infringement, and Yahoo would never do that! She said she hadn't played Battleship since she was 9. I think she was trying to rattle me. And rattle me she did. This game was for a bottle of wine (no re-occurring theme, just a coincidence...), and she hopped out to an early lead, sinking my battleship and one of my 3-length ships. I literally missed my first 15 shots, and in my mind I was already trying to figure out which bottle of wine to steal from my parents' wine cellar, I mean.. which bottle of wine to purchase at the store with my hard-earned money.

But I came ROARING back. We were tied at three ships remaining, then tied at two ships left, and slowly but surely we were both down to our final vessels. Each of us only had our little two-slot boat left. The hardest boat to find. I was criss-crossing the entire map, and at one point while she was off making toast, I counted that there were only six more possible spots for her boat to be. The map was completely blasted to smithereens. And then...

BOOM! Found it! She never did find my sneaky little boat, although she did completely surround it with misses (which I think is probably just as hard to do, so kudos to you, Jessica, kudos).

I've got a pitcher of beer and a bottle of wine coming my way the next time we meet (to be shared, of course), and now I've got to think of a game that she might stand a chance at. I'm having a hard time, chinese checkers, maybe? Or.. ooo! Mastermind! If I can find that, oh... it is on.

The last three hours at work, I couldn't get the song from this video out of my head:

There is a magazine sitting on the table in the break room with Uma Thurman on the cover, and Emily Haines from Metric (and the video), I think is a dead ringer for Uma.

I had to make up four hours at work because of not feeling well on Monday, and I was in an inner-struggle between staying and working really late tonight, or working until about 6pm and making up an hour on Monday. I chose the latter, and a big reason why is because I wanted to play in Kat's Donkament... even though most of the crew is partying hard at Eh-Vegas in Toronto as I type this. Kat, Irongirl, CK, Al, BamBam, Astin--oh, it has got to be an amazing time.

But, I had a problem. I stayed at work too long. I hadn't pre-registered, and I was going to have to rush home in order to register by 6pm. As I was leaving the office (and they were expecting me to stay until 6pm...), I saw that the freeway was standing completely still. Roger, I'll have to take the side streets. Which takes longer, but I might be able to make it.

I was making good time, too. I ran a yellow light on 85th, that would have had me stopped for a good five minutes if I had missed it--and I was zooming... until...

The dreaded four-way stop of doom. Oh. My. God, the line was backed up all the way to the freeway--I'm talking a line of 50 cars, two deep, waiting for a four-way stop, without a light. I resigned myself to an unplanned evening at home, with nothing to do. Until!!!

I whipped out my... cell phone, and called Tyler and Renee. I had five minutes to make it home to register, and it wasn't going to happen, but I remembered that I had just installed it on Renee's computer the night before. It was a bit of a long shot, but they were home, and not using the computer, so she was so very kind enough to register me in, with one minute to spare after a very confusing list of directions and instructions on how to find and register for the tournament.

Click the tournaments tab, then private. OK, now what? Now you've got to sort the tournaments by date, or hmm, maybe status? You're looking for a $1 + $1 tournament, with probably around 15-20 people. The info should mention donkament or poker kat. Hmm, I don't see it. (Crap!) No wait, there it is. How do I know this is the right one? Open the lobby, maybe you can list off some names already registered. How do I do that? OK, got it. Um... swimmom, hozyahoo, surfwalman? (Hooooo boy!!!) That's the one! Register me, please! It is asking for a password. (double-crap!) Try donkament, no wait, donkarama. Can you spell that? D O N K A R A M A. Alright, it worked. Yay! Yay! Hey, the tournament just started! Woooot!

Thanks again Renee, you rock. Five minutes later, I make it home and greet the table with a big HELLOOOOO. Dontknow, who I got down to heads up with a few weeks ago, was directly to my left, and to his left was Gadzooks, a very fun and witty blogger I met while donking off all my money at the MGM Grand mixed games. I'm sure my money is always welcome in any of her home games, much like with any of the Seattle area bloggers I met a couple of weekends ago. Again, I'm hoping this isn't a trend. People being friendly to you in the poker world isn't usually a good thing...

And then, I decided to start blogging the damn thing. I knew I had this post going from work, so what the hell, why not make it a ginormous post that no one will ever read? Hey!! Sounds good to me!!!


Nothing Going my way, Cayne at 16k.

A7 nearly back-to-back to chip up to 10k with 3 minutes left in the rebuy--perfect.

Stealing from tight people, paradise. All is right, AJ holding up, hammers flying. folded to my bb every time, steals a plenty.


OK, OK, it was some pretty terrible "live-blogging," so I'll try and add some meat to it. We started the tourney with 17 or 18 runners, perfect for two tables of blonkament action. I noticed some familiar faces, including Gadzooks64 and Dontknow to my left, and it looked like a circus on the other table with Hoyazo, Sirfwalgman, pushmonkey72 and a couple other cats.

The stars were aligned, the moon was fresh off a vernal equinox, and blogger hands were hitting like Bobby Brown. For the entire first hour, I didn't see a hammer lose, and I didn't see JackAce fall. Not once. It might have happened, and I struck it from my memory, but it was just amazing. JackAce against Hoy's Kings? Sorry Hoy! Hammer against Aces and KQh? Boom, flopped two pair for the hammer bros.

For almost the entire first hour, I never got my starting stack above 5k chips, and fell victim to the JackAce and hammer, but I was loving it. That is why I wrote "Cayne at 16k," because damnit, I had chip envy. That all changed with about three minutes left in the rebuy period. I had to get some chips, along with a few other short stacks at my table, and I ended up going to war with As7c. I think I was actually the favorite, over Q9o and 76o, and even more surprisingly, my hand held up. That popped me to 6k with a couple minutes left. Less than an orbit later, I've got two all-ins in front of me, each with their starting 2k stacks, looking to get lucky. I'm more than ready to fold, but I look down to see...

God damnit... As7c again. I pretty much have to call, don't I? The hand that just won me all those chips? It won't fail me now, will it?? Boom, pretty much double-up again, and I'm sitting pretty with 10k chips at the end of rebuy. That is how it is done!

After the rebuy period, I was in quite possibly the best table situation I have ever been in. I had Dontknow and Gadzooks to my left, both with larger stacks than me, and both playing very tight. Then I had three short stacks to my right, who didn't want to go home. The short stacks did a good job of stealing blinds, but they really only went after Gadzooks and Dontknow's blinds. It was amazing. It literally had me thinking of paradise in the form of poker nirvana. Much like my heads up match against Dontknow, I felt like I had virtually no risk, and I was steadily chipping up my stack. 11k... 12k... 15k... 18k, and then sadly we got to the final table. And here was the motley crew:

Seat 1, Jmathewson_III
Seat 2, BloodyP
Seat 3, Mrboatdrinks
Seat 4, Dino_burger
Seat 5: HERO
Seat 6: Pushmoney72
Seat 7: DontKnow
Seat 8: GadZOOKS64
Seat 9: ElSnarfGrande

Mr. Boat drinker got knocked out on the first hand of final tabledom, by I think Gadzooks in a race.

PushMonkey's TT fell to BloodP's AQs all-in pre flop with a god-awful Q on the river.

DontKnow fell in 7th place in a battle of the blinds. My T7 from the SB hit the 764 flop, and I check-called a pot-sized bet. The turn brought another 7, and I check-raised DK all-in and he called off with A6, drawing dead.

Chip stacks:
1) BloodyP: 48k
2) HERO 32k
3) gadZOOKs 20k
4) JMath 16k
5) Snarf 6k
6) Dino 3k

And we stayed at six. For a very... loonngg... ... ... time... short stacks won every showdown, but for the most part, we just never saw a flop. As one of the larger stacks, I really should have been more aggressive, but I was getting shit for cards and waiting for people to knock each other out. Dino made a massive comeback, and was the bane of my existance. He stole my blind, and I just didn't have the balls to pop him back with air. He started min-raising my blind and I'll call that every time, in position, but I didn't hit a single flop, and only bluffed him off the flop once. I was finally ready to make a stand, when I flopped top pair on a king-high board. I knew he would keep betting at the pot, so I called his flop bet hoping to get him all-in on the turn... and then the turn came the mother-fucking Ace of spades. The perfect scare card to bet at, and I had no information on whether or not he had an ace, because he had bet the whole way. His stack wasn't large, so he pushed all-in and I was still in 2nd place, so I folded for a better spot.

It was so frustrating being healthy on chips for the last hour of play, because I never had an easy decision, and I always fell back on "well, I'm still healthy if I fold here. And fold I did. It was fucking pathetic. I went from the table captain to the table chump. The hand that appitimized it was another blind v. blind battle with Dino:

A9 in the BB, folded around to dino in the SB--been stealing my blinds all night.

Call the minraise.

Flop is A76 rainbow.

He bets 3k into a 4+k pot, I call, intending to trap.

Js on the turn, 6k bet into 10k pot, called--knowing he'll bet the river, regardless.

River is Ks, filling the flush and straight draws. Son of a bitch. Worst card in the deck for me. All of the crap he might have been semi-bluffing with just may have hit.

Dino goes all-in, I let time run out and fold--finally decide to fold because folding still leaves me as 2nd highest stack. Weak. Dino claims to have had TT, doubt it.

I really... REALLY wanted to call on the river, but I was playing so greedily, and with such a desire to take his entire stack, that I was blind to how poorly I played this hand. This type of fancy play crap I am terrible at, and I think it is best served in cash games. In tournaments you are trying to preserve your stack, and by letting all those weaker hands catch up, I simply played this hand terribly.

That hand spelled the beginning of my demise, and instead of realizing how poorly I played the hand at the time, I was steaming with the injustice of it all. How dare he catch up, how dare that ace fall on the turn in the prior hand. Gah!! I knew I was steaming, so I paid less attention to poker, and more attention to the entertaining TV shows.

Price is Right is on TV... at night... with Drew Carey as the host. Something is terribly wrong. Bob Barker is supposed to be there, this isn't right! Hey! What was that? Was that a contestant-row bid of 3201?! When the next highest bid was 3200?? You dog! I'm hooked! Plinko!!!!!! WWOOOOO!!!

First throw: ZERO
2nd: 500
3rd: 1000
4th: ZERO
5th: 100


What else is on? 1v100, eh? Bob Saget? There is a lot of shouting, that is annoying. Oh, I guess she just walked away with $250,000... I see... go on...

1v mob of 100, ok.

alright, so the contestant has to get the right answer, if he does, then you find out how many of the 100 got the answer wrong. 2 people thought Dolly Parton's theme-park is called Magic Mountains... lolz

Poker update: still at 6:
1) BloodyP: 42k
2) HERO: 32k
3) Dino: 18k
4) ZOOKS: 18k
5) JMath: 13k
6) Snarf: 2k

LOL, must watch Amnesia, the show that is coming up next. Pilot episode, asking questions about contestants lives. "What is the name of the club you almost burned down?" nice!

Back to price is right. 1v100 is just a glorified Millionaire, or am I missing something?

God Damn, it has been almost an hour since we last knocked someone out. The shorties keep winning the races. Zooks just ended up with a boat with KJs over 44 aipf. Gooo horse! Speaking of horse, we made an MS-Paint ... wait, this just in...


back to regularly scheduled program

...Zooks and I made an MS-Paint bet when we had just entered the non-rebuy period. We picked horses, I chose her and Dontknow, and she chose me and Cayne. The bet is an MS-Paint illustration on the loser's blog, of the winner of the bet in all his or her glory. Zooks didn't quite understand the bet, but more to that later.

Woots, JMath out in 6th, my 44 out-raced his AK, up to 45k.

*here is where A-9 god-awful hand with Dino happened*

WOOOP WOOOP WOOOP Double showcase winner! $1million, OMG!

That had to be staged. His freaking bet was $83,844 and the ACTUAL RETAIL PRICE was $84,685. Of course, the girl's bet was only $1,000 off, to add to the drama. I'm not buying it.

Amnesia is starting, and I like it. I wouldn't be able to answer half of the questions, nor would I want all my dirty little secrets to be aired to millions of people.

I continue to fold, and get crap for hands. I really dislike it when people complain about "not getting good cards" in poker, because really, it shouldn't matter. And I can see how that might be a big downfall to my weak/passive theory from earlier. I NEED good cards, or a good flop in order to beat someone. The whole game is trapping someone. Getting them to think that they can bet at you and you WILL fold. I had a trap baited for Dino for about the last 45 minutes, and it was so frustrating to not be able to spring the trap.

Dino eventually gave all his chips to Zooks, but by that time my stack had dwindled so far to put me as the short stack. I got so short that I had to push soon, and I just wasn't getting anything to push with. I got down to about 6k in chips and found A8, with a BloodyP raise in front of me, and had to go with it. He flipped 77 and we were racing. Ace on the flop, 8 on the turn, and the fucking devil-incarnate 7 on the river.

To make the sting that much better, I bubbled, with no one to blame but myself. Oh how it hurt. I played so God-DAMNED bad that last hour. What the hell was I doing watching TV and folding, oy vey.

I suck so much at poker. I couldn't help but compile some stats of my last 50 hands of the tournament:

Folds: 45 losses

2: folded to me in the BB
1: limp then check-down win on the river
1: Won the blinds with Jacks preflop
2: win the pot preflop by raising in the SB on Gadzooks' blind

I didn't win a single pot bigger than two BB's, and I didn't force anyone else to showdown that entire time. It was fucking pathetic, I was a punching bag.

But, as much as it sucked to end the night that way, Gadzooks put up her MS Paint image, and that got me smiling again :)

It has been twelve hours since I started this post, and it is about time to wrap it up. No picture from me this time Zooks, I thought about it, and decided that you've got to earn it by winning the bet--not by winning the god damn poker tournament! Congrats :)

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Blogger The Wife said...

Ok, the sheer length of that post HAS to make up for you having to read about shoes. At least mine had lots of pictures. Cute ones, I might add.

And I do think a Seattle bloggers home game at the Chako house in in order . . . we can certainly contribute some food and drink. The Dr. might ask for a ride on the bike, you know - he's had his license but no bike for a while . . .

Here's to a crappy gray weekend day in Seattle!

9:12 AM  
Blogger notquitewhatyouexpected said...

Just because I haven't been wasting the last 4 years practicing games on the computer, doesn't mean you're better than me at Scrabble or Battleship! And, I didn't know that there were different tile scores because we haven't been playing Scrabble, we've been playing SCRABILICIOUS and the letter scores aren't posted on the bored unless you change the settings.

So there.

3:05 PM  
Blogger meanhappyguy said...

gulp, I've been found. So, hey Jessica, mind if I post pictures of you on my blog? ^ ^

3:14 PM  
Blogger notquitewhatyouexpected said...

only if i get paid in Guinness.

4:08 PM  
Blogger meanhappyguy said...


4:14 PM  

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