Catching Up

After 10 days in Michigan, and digging out of the 10+ inches of snow that was dumped on us the LAST DAY we were there, and almost 13 hours on the road, we made it back home last night. I can’t tell you how good it felt to sleep in my own bed last night, and to have my own freshly ground and brewed coffee this morning. I’m slowly catching up on all my email and news, and hopefully will be back with more this afternoon. I managed to read two more books while I was gone, but since I didn’t review them yet, I’m going to count them toward next year’s total and give myself a head start.
Overall, we had a good time in Michigan, though Ellie would have loved it if that snow had come a few days earlier. And don’t ask me about King-Five suited. Fold that crap, stupid! Christmas was fun for the kids, though Ellie has been complaining about how she didn’t get her Dora baby twins and some other stuff (I’m sure my parents will quickly say how familiar that sounds!). Evan is the ultimate in giving positive feedback though. His face when he got his Ikea push toy just lit up, and he’s hardly put the thing down since. And Lisa and I even got to go see a movie! (National Treasure 2, which was a mild disappointment, but still fairly fun, especially when you can say that you’ve seen the Resolute desk up close.)
OK, time to catch up on work.

Get Your Money Out Now

If you play poker online, you’ll want to be cashing out. Now.
The Senate passed some form of a ban on online gambling as a freakin’ amendment to the Port Security bill (yeah, because that’s related, sheesh!), and in response, the poker sites announced they are pulling out of the US. My advice is if you’re not sure, cash out your money now, and wait for things to subside for a while, then see who will still let you play poker with them. Because right now, it’s up in the air.


I’m registered in the Poker on a Mac BloggerPods tournament. I think. Waiting on the password…. Awesome, got the password, should be lots of fun. Hopefully I don’t get bounced in Level One!
Update: Well, I lasted to Level 5. I had KK once, and I think AQ one other time. Finally made a stand with AJo and was dominated by QQ and AK. Doh! I figured I had to call, with both the others already with their money in. Alas, it was a bad move, and I went home pretty early. Oh well, lots of fun for $1.


I got an email today from Party Poker that they had put $20 in my account for free. It’s actually been a while since I played there, but I figured, $20 to play with, why not? It really is amazing there. Here’s a sampling:
Party Poker No-Limit Hold’em, $ BB (Donkey) (3 handed)
Button ($26.15)
Hero ($23.75)
BB (Donkey) ($41.05)
Preflop: Hero is SB with 8, Q. Hero posts a blind of $0.10.
1 fold, Hero (poster) completes, BB (Donkey) checks.
Flop: ($0.50) 2, 6, 8 (2 players)
Hero bets $0.62, Donkey calls $0.62.
Turn: ($1.74) 9 (2 players)
Hero bets $0.5, Donkey raises to $4.11, Hero calls $3.61.
River: ($9.96) 5 (2 players)
Hero checks, Donkey bets $5.37, Hero calls $5.37.
Final Pot: $20.70
Results below:
Donkey has J 7 (straight, nine high).
Hero has 8 Q (one pair, eights).
Outcome: Donkey wins $20.70.

At this point, I’d been playing here for a while. Seemed like this guy was playing anything, and raising with very little. I was quite confused when he reraised on the turn. Turned out he reraised on a draw. And hit it. Damn. Not to worry, I’d get him back later.

BB ($29.18)
UTG ($27.35)
MP ($18.15)
Hero ($10.38)
Button ($7.75)
SB (Donkey) ($37.15)
Preflop: Hero is CO with A, 2. SB (Donkey) posts a blind of $0.10.
1 fold, MP calls $0.25, Hero calls $0.25, 1 fold, SB (Donkey) (poster) completes, BB checks.
Flop: ($1) 8, 2, Q (4 players)
Donkey checks, BB checks, MP checks, Hero bets $1, Donkey raises to $2, BB folds, MP folds, Hero calls $1.
Turn: ($5) 9 (2 players)
Donkey bets $3, Hero calls $3.
River: ($11) 2 (2 players)
Donkey bets $5.15, Hero calls $5.13 (all-in).
Final Pot: $20.21
Results below:
Donkey has K 7 (one pair, twos).
Hero has A 2 (three of a kind, twos).
Outcome: Hero wins $20.21.

That’s a check-raise on the flop, had me confused again. Then he bets out all the way with King high, and lets me river the set (had him beat with the pair, but the set made it an easy call). Yeah, you can debate my play on this hand, but I was getting a read on him now. I lost a tough hand to someone else, then came this beauty.

MP ($30.63)
CO ($27)
Button ($2.75)
Hero ($16.96)
BB ($7.25)
UTG (Donkey) ($42.37)
Preflop: Hero is SB with J, A. Hero posts a blind of $0.10.
UTG (Donkey) calls $0.25, MP calls $0.25, 2 folds, Hero (poster) raises to $0.9, 1 fold, UTG (Donkey) calls $0.75, MP folds.
Flop: ($2.50) 7, 3, 9 (2 players)
Hero checks, Donkey bets $2.4, Hero raises to $4.8, Donkey calls $2.40.
Turn: ($12.10) J (2 players)
Hero checks, Donkey bets $11.50, Hero calls $11.16, all-in.
River: ($32.72) 9 (2 players)
Final Pot: $32.72
Results below:
Hero has J A (two pair, jacks and nines).
Donkey has Q 4 (one pair, nines).
Outcome: Hero wins $32.72.

This time, I knew I had the better hand the whole way, and just let him dig his own grave. He bets $11 on queen high! That was an insta-call right there, since my jack hit. Good stuff folks. Only 153 hands to go before I can collect…

Raising Awareness

Techdirt says: Create An Ad Campaign For Gambling Sites? You Now Face 20 Years In Jail. If you’ve been living in a cave for the past week, maybe you missed the fact that the House passed an anti-Internet Gambling bill… Excuse me, an anti-Internet Gambling unless it’s horse racing or state lotteries bill. Then a UK citizen who runs was arrested on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. Then BetOnSports shut down their site. And now, the people who created the ad campaign for BetOnSports are being charged in a racketeering conspiracy.
This is getting crazy. Reportedly the WTO is looking aat the issue from the (appropriate) global perspective, to determine if the US can do this under fair trade rules. They already ruled that the US doesn’t have jurisdiction over Antigua in a previous case, so maybe they can help sort this mess out. Meantime, if I was someone who qualified for the WSOP online, I’d be a little worried right now.

Imagine If They Were Showing it Live

Yesterday, the H.O.R.S.E. event at the World Series of Poker was supposed to play down to a final table of 9 players. They started the day with 128 of 143 original entrants still alive. When I got in to work this morning, they were still playing! 17 players are left. 16 of them will get paid. Update: Matt Hawrilenko is the unlucky one, busting just out of the money. Huge names still left in the tourney: Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, T.J. Cloutier, Andy Bloch, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, just to name a few. Not unsurprisingly, many of them play in the legendary “Big Game.”
Good gravy, I just read that the Yankees are set to sign Sidney Ponson. I guess they’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel for some arms. Hey Yankees, I’ll throw some innings for ya!

Murderer’s Row

One of my baseball teammates challenged another teammate recently to name the Yankees’ “Murderer’s Row.” I barely came up with Ruth, Gehrig and Lazzeri. But he mischaracterized the lineup, saying Ruth batted cleanup. After wearing both #3 and #4 for most of my Little League career (those were always the smallest jerseys), I well knew that Ruth wore #3 and batted third, while Gehrig was #4 and batting cleanup. Full actual lineup: Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Ruth, Gehrig, Bob Meusal (shoulda known that one), Tony Lazzeri, Joe Dugan, and whoever was catching and pitching that day. I still haven’t come up with a good player who wore my current number, #47.
Speaking of a Murderer’s Row (stealing the reference from Dispatches), check out the competition in the World Series of Poker H.O.R.S.E. $50,000 buy-in event. This is the real main event for these professionals. It’s no crapshoot like the $10,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em “Main Event.” It’s hold ’em (H), Omaha eight or better (O), razz (R), seven card stud (S) and seven card stud eight or better (E). All the big games, showing off all your skills. Already, 2004 HORSE champion Scott Fischman is out, along with Layne Flack, Hasan Habib, Marcel Luske, and a couple of other big names are teetering on the edge of elimination. Big names near the top are Allen Cunningham, Andy Bloch, and Freddy Deeb. Plus, Mike Matusow and Phil Hellmuth are at the same table. Awesome.

Become Daniel Negreanu’s Protege

Daniel Negreanu is jumping onto the Apprentice bandwagon, offering poker players a chance to become his “protege.” It’s actually a pretty sweet deal if you manage to win, 4 $10k entries into major poker tournaments for starters. The catch is that qualifying can get tricky. There are ten ways to qualify, but most of them involve wading your way through basically a freeroll tournament with thousands of players. And then you are only one of ten finalists!
Still an interesting ploy. Whether you think it’s worth it to be Daniel Negreanu’s protege is up to you. For him, it’s a can’t-miss proposition. Anyone who manages to survive all the qualifying events is going to be a solid player already, and Daniel will probably look like a genius.

Home Game Hell

OddJack is dying soon, Nick Denton decided to pull the plug. But BG is still working for a few more days, so I sent this item over to him. The article ran in the Washington Post a couple of days ago, and describes how a poker home game in the nearby Fair Oaks area in Northern Virginia got robbed recently. Of course, it probably didn’t help that the guy running it sent his Evite to almost 300 people. He’s lucky that he just got robbed, he probably could have gotten busted by the police as well. And that’s the part that cracked me up most. All these people are quoted in the article could very well be admitting to illegal activity, or at least saying “Come rob my home game next!”. Not the smartest cookies.