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Latest Humorous T-shirt Slogan:
"You Wish!"
This one has to be taken in context to be appreciated. The girl wearing this belly shirt was maybe 5'0" tall, with a muffin top going on, despite the fact that she was clearly in her third trimester of pregnancy. In addition she was wearing a thong that came up past her low-rise jeans and pushed her muffin top down over the edge to really emphasize the roll. I'm not in perfect shape so I don't expect that others should be, but when you are wearing that shirt, along with the rest of the outfit, you open yourself to scrutiny (and perhaps random looks of horror).

It's fun to hate:
The Soccer Moms who insist that they drive gas-guzzling SUV's for the safety of their children despite the fact that they are 6 times more likely to be in a rollover accident than any other vehicle. It's like beating your child unconscious with the butt of your gun so that he will remain on the floor, thus making him less likely to be hit by a random bullet coming through the front window.

When Shadowtwin reigns supreme:
There will be mandatory, passive birth control required to participate in any form of government assistance. If you can't afford to raise your child on your own we are here to help you, but we must first make sure that your reproductive organs are adequately contained. If you don't like that policy all you have to do is support your kids your damn self!
Vote Shadowtwin!

Wildly inaccurate, yet shockingly precise, predictions based completely on happenstance and arbitrary universal fluctuations.
Your Horoscope:

Sagitarius: 11/22-12/21
A typographical error in your Church's newsletter will lead to you performing sex acts on dozens of anonymous strangers in your pursuit of "oral highground."

Capricorn: 12/22-1/19
The stars did recently tell your wife to "listen to her heart" regarding whether or not she should leave you. The stars did not intend for you to listen to her heart. But once you used that bonesaw on her sternum (not trusting the stethoscope which just responded with a cryptic thumping sound), we're pretty sure she made up her mind anyway.

Aquarius: 1/20-2/18
The stars would like to apologize for stating in their last prophecy, "Be wary of the stranger you meet at beach this weekend. The stars aren't sure why, but they don't trust him." Through a cosmic hiccup, that information was supposed to be released this month. The August prophecy should have read, "A dark and handsome stranger will approach you on the beach, profess his love for you, and sweep you away for a jetset marriage. After which you will lead a long, happy, prosperous, healthy life as the Queen of a small island nation." We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

Pisces: 2/19-3/20
Your new stopwatch will allow you to time how long you can hold your breath underwater down to the thousandth of a second. Unfortunately, poor planning will mean that you are not able to actually share the information with anyone.

Aries: 3/21-4/19
Your innovative new device for beauticians to use while giving pedicures can be wildly successful and make you quite wealthy IF you change the name. Trust us, no one is going to buy a "Ped-O-File".

Taurus: 4/20-5/20
Your Mother always told you to wear clean underwear just in case there was an accident and paramadics had to see them. But as you board that plane today, the stars want you to know that you needn't worry about it. The debris field will be more than 8 square miles, making it impossible to find most human remains. Not to mention that the ensuing fire burned so hot that it disintegrated not only all fabric, but most of the thin metals aboard as well.

Gemini: 5/21-6/21
You just had to get that genital piercing, didn't you? The stars tried to warn you not to, but you went ahead and did it anyway... Now all your worst fears will come to bear when, at a campground this weekend, you run afoul of this guy:

Cancer: 6/22-7/22
The less traveled by areas of the Grand Canyon's north rim offer some of the most breathtaking views of this natural wonder. You will soon find out they also include some of the worst footings and none of the handrails. They do, however, provide equally awe-inspiring, terminal velocity impacts.

Leo: 7/23-8/22
The stars heard your pleas, begging for someone who you could share your love with and embrace for the rest of your life. If you are still single, throw your arms around the closest person to you at 3:44pm GMT on Dcember 9th -That'll be the one. Trust us, you won't have time to be picky...

Virgo: 8/23-9/22
The stars have piled up most of your things on the front porch. You can stay at a friend's house, but you aren't coming back home until you admit what you did and apologize. The stars' Mother was right about you... (you must have really pissed them off; the stars were in tears while they told me this)

Libra: 9/23-10/22
The stars have been doing a little thinking and a lot of math. The population of planet earth is roughly 6,796,590,704. That means that roughly 566,382,558 people share each astrological sign. About 18,620,796 have the same birthday. Based on average life expectancy as many as 248,277 people were born on the same day, in the same year, for every zodiac sign. How can one statement possibly predict the future of all of them? Ehh, fuck it. "A full moon while Venus is rising is an omen of good things to come."

Scorpio: 10/23-11/21
They say you never know how you are going to react to a crisis. After a home invasion this weekend you will: You will scream, "Do whatever you want to my wife, but leave me alone!" You will then create a distraction by throwing your newborn at the assailant as you dive through the window to safety. Now you know.

Music lost to history:

Aerosmith - Dream On When I started doing these, I could never have imagined that I would be putting an Aerosmith song here. Since I was born in 1974, this song is well before my generation. It was recorded in 1972 and released in 1983 on Aerosmith's Self-Titled Album, but to read the information on it at Wikipedia most of us would become familiar with it from a re-release in 1976.

Like most of the music being released in the late 60's/early 70's that was pushing the rock-n-roll envelope, Dream On relies heavily on solid composition and and melody. Before the era of the modern effects processor, these bands had no distortion to hide behind (or very little), and synthesized instruments hadn't yet made their way into music. In that way the music always sounds more raw to us today because, quite simply, it was. While it seems laughable to think about today, music like this was so far removed from the bubble-gum pop of the 50's that it still wasn't accepted into the mainstream. As the baby-boomers became the target demographic, the rock-n-roll movement really started to pick up speed, with bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith clearing the path for the much darker and heavier bands like Black Sabbath.

While I (and most of my generation) are probably far more familiar with the Aerosmith of the late 80's and early 90's, the reason this song makes it onto my MLtH page comes down to one thing: Age. Not necessarily the age of the song; In fact, as I sat down to do the research for this today, I had no idea when it was released, but would have guessed (closely) the mid 70's. Tyler was born March 26, 1948, meaning that this song was written when he was only 24 years old. I'm not sure why, but I have always thought this song was pretty amazing given his age at composition. I suppose it is human nature to wax poetic about the days of yore and the imminent passage of time, but the melody sets a mood that makes you feel it right along with him. As the song nears the end and his lyrics become more more frenzied, you can almost feel the pain (longing?) in his voice. Listen to it with headphones and no distraction sometime, you'll see what I mean.

I wrote a short bit some time ago about Kelly Sweet's cover of this song (see the video on Youtube). While I have since gotten over the initial hatred I felt towards the cover of the song, I still just can't like it. The words are there; she hits the notes; but I just can't hear it in her voice. As if there is somthing very personal about the song and Tyler's deliverance of the lyrics that just can't be duplicated. At least to me.

That said, I have heard Aerosmith doing the song with an orchestra, and it also seems to lack the passion of the original. So perhaps the thing that I like so much about it is the under-produced, raw sound of it, or it may be that I am still hearing it through the ears of that impressionable youth that heard if for the first time in a dusty old Van with my Uncle Art. Either way, it seems it is Lost to History.

Music Lost to History Archive

I Can't Believe it's Not Porn!
WhorePresents.comYep, it's not porn. It's not a site with gifts for sale either, which is probably a good thing since I can't imagine that any woman would be at all flattered to get a gift -no matter how nice- in a box that says "Whore" on it.

Daily Reading:
Magazine Man
Shane Nickerson
Wil Wheaton
Hoyazo's Poker Blog

My reading list changes from time to time, and there are many sites that I visit that are not on the list. They are listed in the order that I visit them, enjoy!

Locations of visitors to this page

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? October 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

My stud quest.

When the anti-gambling legislation was going through the house a couple of weeks ago, I pulled the majority of my meager bankroll from all the poker sites except for full tilt (I left some in full tilt because they very openly stated that they weren't going to let this sham legislation put them out of business -which is true for now, but in a few months, who knows). It was actually pretty good timing for me anyway, as I recently started a new job and haven't been playing a lot anyway. Then there is the horrific run of luck I have been having in Hold Em tournaments -don't get me started on that.

I recently logged back in to pokerstars to check the results of a tournament that I didn't play in (and with my work schedule there is really only one blogger tourney that I am home to play in anyway), and found that I had somehow managed to leave $1.36 in my account when I pulled out. So just for fun, I decided to see if I could double that up in a cash game. Of course NLHE was out of the question, as I am simply not a good enough cash player to do well there, even at micro levels, so I sat down to a .04/.08 Stud Hi-Lo table to see how far I could go on a buck and change. After playing for about an hour, I had tripled my initial balance and was sitting on a cool fiver.

I was actually having a lot of fun in this endeavor, as I really only had a buck on the line, so I was more willing to draw than I would have been under normal circumstances. The next day I continued on at the .04/.08 table for another hour or so, and managed to make a couple more bucks (technically, I lost my buy-in once when I failed to give a guy credit for a full house when I was betting hard on a flush. But I rebought and came out a couple bucks ahead for the night). Once I was up to about 7 bucks, I started playing the .10/.20 table -that's big money! After playing the .10/.20 tables for a while, I managed to get to where I was hovering around 13 bucks for three days or so. It would go up and down, of course, and once got below 9 bucks, but it tended to stay right around 13 for several days. So that's 10x my initial bankroll (if only it would have been more than a buck).

I tend to play these games when I get home from work. That is about 2am my time, but it is 5am on the east coast, so there are never many tables open. In fact the limits that I am playing are usually dictated by which ones are open at all. Sometimes there aren't any .10/.20's open so I have to play the lower limit ones, as there never seem to be any .25/.50 ones open either, and with only ten bucks or so, the .25/.50 would kill me quickly anyway.

Last night (well, early this morning really) when I got home from work, there weren't any .04/.08 or .10/.20 tables going at all. There was a .25/.50 table running, which I watched for twenty minutes or so while trying to decide whether or not I wanted to take a stab at it with my miniscule bank. After observing two of the larger stacks playing extremely loose the whole time, I finally decided to give it a shot. I bought in for 10 bucks, leaving myself only 3 to start over if I managed to stack myself. But I didn't stack myself, although I came pretty close to it when I was dealt A23 on the second hand. I bet hard until I found myself at sixth street without another low card dropping and everything else failing to pair. That left me with about 5 bucks, which I would put on the line abour four hands later.

I was dealt 456 diamonds, with the six showing. While I don't remember the exact betting per round, I do know that I was all in by fifth street, and three other guys were there as well. Fourth street brought me the eight of diamonds, and fifth was an offsuit 7 to give me the straight. That was the point when the last of my money hit the pot. There was only 1 other guy with a possible low, which would have been 8 high as well, but it would have required him to hit well or already have two low cards. One other guy had an open pair of aces, and the third guy was showing all spades. Sixth street paired my 8, and seventh gave me the 7 of diamonds for the straight flush (which was actually my second straight flush in two days. The other one coming in a .04/.08 game, clubs 8-Q). It was extremely fortunate that I hit that card too, as I needed every bit of it to take down the main pot. It turns out that I was the only one with a playable low. The one guy who was in it on a low draw folded on seventh street. The guy who was showing aces had made a boat with aces and 3s, and the other guy had been riding a king high flush since fifth street. Just over 20 bucks slid back over to me on that hand.

Of course I logged in this morning to play a bit more, but back down at the .10/.20 table, and I managed to donk off 4 bucks in about ten minutes, but I am still sitting at 20 bucks. I want to see just how much I can turn that initial 1.36 into. I am going to continue playing the lower level tables until I reach some as yet undetermined amount and then try to move up in stakes as long as I am able to remain profitable. I can usually win 4 or 5 bucks during a winning session at the .10/.20 limits (with about 3 of 5 being winning sessions, the other two usually ending near even or down just a bit -though I do get stacked occasionally), so I figure I should be able to get to fifty within a week or so, at which point I will probably try the .25/.50 limits for a while. Regardless of how much I make, or even if I blank myself, I am having a heck of a lot of fun on that 1.36!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I'm taking what they're giving...

I started working again a few weeks ago. I have been avoiding making mention of it here because I wasn't so sure how it was going to work out for me. I wouldn't consider it to be my ideal job, but it is paying the same as my last job did, and I was hired with the expectation that I would be promoted to a salaried position within a couple of months -provided I grew to like the job, and that they liked me.

After a few weeks of working there, I have started to enjoy it. Keep in mind that for all my life I have worked at businesses that were owned and operated by someone that was on site all the time. This is the first time that I have worked in an environment where everyone had someone else to answer to, and the attitudes of my supervisors show it. This is quite literally the first job I have ever had that didn't involve some form of verbal abuse from my immediate supervisor, it is quite a welcome change. I don't exactly do a happy dance before I go in each day, but at the same time I don't wish that I would suffer some horrible injury that would keep me from being able to go either (which is something that I did for the last three years or so at my last job -which is actually quite sad when I think about it.).

The reason that I wasn't sure if I was going to like the job is that the position that I am working towards (also the one that I actually interviewed for) is going to be a graveyard shift. In theory, I thought that I didn't want to work the graveyard shift, but after a couple of weeks of working 4pm to midnight, the thought of working overnight has started to seem better. As it is now, I don't actually get home until almost 2 in the morning, at which point I do my best to not wake up the wife since she has to get up at 5 to get ready for work. Were I working the graveyard shift, we would be able to spend the evenings together and I would leave for work just as she was going to bed, and I would be sleeping while she was at work. That would be great for her since she would be able to sleep without being groped, something that hasn't happened since we got together.

Whether or not I decide to take the graveyard position, I think I will be to a management position within six months or so, just by learning the procedures and being there every day. At the very least, I will be making the same amount as I made at my last job without any of the endless crap that came along with it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


When you really think about it, it is pretty odd that people have pets at all. We invite them into our homes and treat them as members of our family and in return the most that they can ever offer is a bit of companionship. When we adopt pets, we do so knowing that there will eventually come a time when we have to lay them to rest. We place such value on their friendship that we take them in knowing that there will eventually be a hefty emotional price to pay for it.

Knowing that doesn't make it any easier to bear when the time comes.

zeldaThat is Zelda there on the right. She wandered under our gate about two years ago and we just fell in love with her. She was a tiny puppy when we got her, with barely any teeth to speak of. She was able to eat dry dog food, but only if she took it one piece at a time and spent a while chewing on it. Our other dog, Warlock, aided us in our effort to potty train her, and within a couple of days she was sleeping in our bedroom along with him. As you can probably guess from the photo, she was a pit bull, and much like all pit bulls I have ever come into contact with, she was extremely friendly and just loved children -especially if she got close enough to them to lick them. She was so happy all the time that we were never able to break her of her licking habit, nor of her habit of jumping onto people's laps (but only her front paws; she knew she wasn't allowed on the furniture).

Not long after we got Zelda, she suffered from what would turn out to be a very minor injury in her stifle joint. While the injury was minor and healed quickly, it also opened our eyes to a very real problem that she had, which I think was hip dysplasia. We never actually took her to a vet to confirm our assessment of her, but I am relatively sure that she was suffering from it. Her hips just didn't work like the hips of a normal dog. Here are a couple of examples of what I mean, taken when I was trying to figure out what may be wrong with her hips:

Whatever the condition actually was (it was also possible that she had suffered from a broken pelvis very early on -possibly during birth), Zelda seemed unaffected by it. Aside from laying kind of funny, running in a bunny-hop fashion, she didn't seem to notice it at all. I have to admit that it killed me to think about it though, since all the information that I was able to gather about either condition talked of excruciating pain the older they got, and it is just horrible to think about your pet suffering so.

Unfortunately, I returned home today to find Zelda lying limp on the floor. My attmepts at resuscitation were useless, but did dislodge a piece of something (possibly fabric) from her throat, which she apparently choked on.

I spent the better part of the morning digging a grave for her, all the while fighting back tears of loss. I am trying to content myself in the thought that she won't have to suffer the pain of her condition later in life, but I really wish she could have stayed with us at least a couple more years.

I took her tags and put them on the old purple collar that she wore for all but the last month or so and put them on my desk. They made a familiar jingle as I carried them through the house. Perhaps later that familiar sound will make me smile, for now it makes the house seem empty.

Rest in peace, Zelda.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Mookie

I spent a long time debating whether or not to sign up for The Mookie last night. Why? The new episode of South Park that was on last night was about World of Warcraft. See, my wife and I have an addiction to a very similar game, and I absolutely had to watch it with her. So when I signed up, I knew I needed to be done in two hours -hell making it two hours in a blogger tourney is a pretty impressive feat.

I actually did pretty well, and was still around as it was nearing the second hour. I was about the middle of the pack with 15 or so remaining when the episode of South Park started, so I was between the bedroom and the pc trying to watch it and play my hands. Eventually I just called a couple of pushes (one with A-7 one with K-5) and busted out in 12th. With the people still remaining in the tournament it was going to take some ideal play, mixed with lucky cards to make it to the money anyway. I am really happy with my play overall, and next week maybe I can set aside more than two hours, just in case I happen to get deep again.

Anyway, I got into a hand fairly early on that led Alcanthang to call me a donkey, so I just wanted to throw it up here and see if I can get an opinion or two on how donkey-ish my play was.

I am in early position with K-Jo. I am going to try to limp into the pot with K-Jo most of the time anyway, maybe I raise if I am on the button and no one is in it, but in this situation limping from EP is my choice. It folds to Al, who is on the button, and he limps as well. Since he limped from the button, I am not putting him on much of a hand here, possibly king or queen high or a suited two gapper. Flop comes up Q-10-6 rainbow, giving me the OESD. I want to take another card for sure, barring an insanely large bet, so I check it. If I was on the button here, and it was checked around to me, I would bet it. In this case I checked because I wanted to see the next card as cheaply as possible. With the range of hands I was putting Al on, I figured he could have paired any card on the board so I was fairly sure he was going to bet. Had I bet, he would likely have raised, and with a drawing hand I am not sure if I call a raise. Al makes a pot-sized bet (210 at the time) which I call. I figure his best hand right now is a Q-x, meaning that any Ace, nine, or king puts me ahead. I call the bet with what I believe to be 11 outs (15 if he had limped with a low PP that didn't connect). If I don't hit, I am going to have to lay them down on the turn. The turn card is an ace, giving me the straight. But I figure he has me on a drawing hand so if I bet into it he may fold. I check to him and he bets 600 (pot being 630). I reraise him my last 490, he calls and flips over QJo. I take down the hand. Then he calls me donkey.

He goes on to say that my call was foolish because he was 2-1 on the flop. Now even if I knew what he was holding, which I obviously didn't, though I did figure he had paired either the Queen or the 10, I don't think he was nearly that far ahead. Even if I did know what he was holding, with 11 outs and 2 cards to come, I think I make that call on the flop. If I had missed it on the turn and he bet 600, I would have probably layed it down, but on the flop with a two way straight draw and a lot of outs, I don't see how you can lay that hand down. shows the odds on the flop to look like this:

So, was my call of the pot-sized (210) bet on the flop a donkey call? Honestly I would like to know if it was. I don't think I will quit making that call even if it was, but I am curious to know if it was really such a bad call. And for those of you who get all hot and squishy when you see hand histories, here is that as well:

Full Tilt Poker Game #1067991210: The Mookie - DuggleMoney (7197813), Table 5 - 30/60 - No Limit Hold'em - 22:37:53 ET - 2006/10/04
Seat 1: Patchmaster (2,625)
Seat 2: garthmeister (2,140)
Seat 3: AlCantHang (2,490)
Seat 4: on_thg (1,880)
Seat 5: jjok (1,360)
Seat 6: SurfKiller (3,230)
Seat 7: shadowtwin (1,360)
Seat 8: DontKnow (3,185)
Seat 9: RoccoBoxer (2,425)
on_thg posts the small blind of 30
jjok posts the big blind of 60
The button is in seat #3
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to shadowtwin [Ks Jd]
SurfKiller folds
shadowtwin calls 60
DontKnow folds
RoccoBoxer folds
Patchmaster folds
garthmeister folds
AlCantHang calls 60
on_thg folds
jjok checks
*** FLOP *** [Ts 6d Qh]
jjok checks
shadowtwin checks
AlCantHang bets 210
jjok folds
shadowtwin calls 210
*** TURN *** [Ts 6d Qh] [Ac]
shadowtwin checks
AlCantHang bets 600
shadowtwin raises to 1,090, and is all in
AlCantHang calls 490
shadowtwin shows [Ks Jd]
AlCantHang shows [Js Qc]
*** RIVER *** [Ts 6d Qh Ac] [8c]
shadowtwin shows a straight, Ace high
AlCantHang shows a pair of Queens
AlCantHang: donkey
shadowtwin wins the pot (2,810) with a straight, Ace high
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2,810 | Rake 0
Board: [Ts 6d Qh Ac 8c]
Seat 1: Patchmaster didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: garthmeister didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: AlCantHang (button) showed [Js Qc] and lost with a pair of Queens
Seat 4: on_thg (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 5: jjok (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 6: SurfKiller didn't bet (folded)
Seat 7: shadowtwin showed [Ks Jd] and won (2,810) with a straight, Ace high
Seat 8: DontKnow didn't bet (folded)
Seat 9: RoccoBoxer didn't bet (folded)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Caution: Uninformed political rambling. Do not read.

You know, just to put it out there, is it just me or do the powers that be seem to be passing a whole lot of legislation based on their inability to control their own actions? Seriously. Whenever someone stands up to champion the cause of getting pornography banned from the internet, it is only a matter of time before his hard drive is found to contain tons of porn, and generally the kind that already is illegal. Sort of like the priests that cry foul when a strip club opens near the church, all the while they are in the rectory ass raping an altar boy.

It is on that note that I question the timing of sneaking the gambling controls into a bill that passed last week. The religious zealots had been trying to get this thing passed for a long time, no doubt because they are gambling addicts, but for this to happen just when yet another Republican is found to be a pedophile... Let's just say that I think the powers that be were aware that the internet would be abuzz with talk about the gambling law and it would take attention away from the ever more perverse and degenerate cult that is the Republican Party.

Maybe it would be easier if we just tried to pick out the Republicans that aren't involved in unlawful and immoral behavior. I'm just saying... Might save some time.

The gambling law though. Yeah, it sucks that it went through, but the House, Senate, and President all lost touch with what the people actually wanted years ago. In fact I will be a bit surprised if the next Republican to run for president doesn't lose by a margin of at least 30%. The democrats could probably nominate someone who is currently in prison and still take it down with the reputation the Republicans have at this point.


How many tens are in this deck?

I jumped into the Mondays at the Hoy (MATHTM) tournament at the last minute last night. I believe this would be the third time I have bought into this one, and since Wil had pimped the tournament on Cardsquad, I was expecting it to be a large field. And it was. More than thirty of the best poker players I know of were there, and with a top prize of well over $200, I think it is fair to say that most of them were taking it fairly seriously (though I think Bone Daddy busted early with a hammer, 'cause it is was a blogger event, and you just gotta play it. What's up with the blog btw?).

I hadn't entered a Hold 'Em tournament (not counting the FTP 20k) since my recent win in the WWDN:Not, and have been trying to limit my exposure to NLHE in general. I have found that I have more success -purely from a financial standpoint- at Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo and Stud Hi/Lo and have been focusing on the cash game in those. The rush of putting it all on the line and doubling up on a single play will always keep me taking shots at NLHE though, especially since I think that I am to the point where I really don't make a lot of mistakes and if I can just win some races -notably the ones where I am a huge favorite- I can realistically play with all these guys.

Early in the tournament, I was able to chip up a bit at the expense of Iakaris. Once on a hand where he had to lay down a low pocket pair when I bet on an ace high flop (if you're wondering, Iak, I did have the AK on that one), and again a bit later on one I wasn't sure I was winning but called on the river with KJs on a jack high board. My only mistake on the night was also in a hand with Iakaris. I had 5's in late position and limped, then called his 3x bet from the big blind. The flop came out with two overs, and Iak bet at it, but I was putting him on two high cards and reraised him. After a bit of thinking, and noting in the chat "no raise preflop?", Iak pushed. Of course now I knew he had an overpair, but at that point it was 210 to call into a pot of 1900, and I couldn't see laying it down. If he had had a larger stack at the time, probably just 90 more chips to make the reraise 300, I walk away from that one.

I tightened up considerably after that bad call, not that I was exactly loose prior to it. I was the third caller on an all-in between Wes and Hoy, but with an AKo in my hand, and Wes on a really short stack, I figured both of them to be playing far less than premium hands, and I was right. AK took it down, but not before scaring me with a board that was one away from a 3-way split with a 5 high straight. I played good, smart, if a bit tight, poker last night. With the exception of the one bad call early against Iakaris, I really didn't make any mistakes. My game was solid.

Shortly after the first break, I found myself at the wrong end of the leaderboard with about 1100 in chips. I had another AKo, this time in late position. I put in a 3x raise, which essentially pot-committed me, but I was going to take this one to bat if anyone called it anyway. I got not only a call, but a re-raise from NewinNov. Frankly, I was giddy that he had called it. This was only the second pre-flop raise I had put in all night, and I kind of expected my tight play to mean everyone was going to fold to a bet. When he pushed his chips in, I was all smiles. Iak noted to me on the girly chat that I was good, see, 'cause he knew this was only my second preflop raise of the night and that I must have the cards to back it up. I thought I was going to be in a race against a high pocket pair, probably 10s through Queens, instead he flipped over an A-10o. Well, I missed the screenshots, so I will post the hand history, it will describe the action far better than I can:

PokerStars Game #6501502915: Tournament #32984225, $20+$2 Hold'em No Limit - Level V (75/150) - 2006/10/02 - 23:10:49 (ET)
Table '32984225 1' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 1: Astin (2389 in chips)
Seat 3: SoxLover (10128 in chips)
Seat 4: Columbo777 (1803 in chips)
Seat 5: shadowtwin (1095 in chips)
Seat 6: NewinNov (3393 in chips)
Seat 7: Wil Wheaton (1010 in chips)
Seat 8: PhinCity (3812 in chips)
Wil Wheaton: posts small blind 75
PhinCity: posts big blind 150
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to shadowtwin [Kd Ac]
Columbo777 said, "gg"
Wil Wheaton said, "thanks for hosting, sir =]"
NewinNov said, "gg hoy, silly rabbit, you can't win the MATH"
Astin: folds
SoxLover: folds
Columbo777: folds
shadowtwin: raises 300 to 450
NewinNov: raises 2943 to 3393 and is all-in
Wil Wheaton: folds
PhinCity: folds
EK921 is connected
shadowtwin: calls 645 and is all-in
SoxLover said, "cold deck"
Wil Wheaton said, "yeah, vnh, sox."
*** FLOP *** [Th 8s 8h]
Astin said, "ruh oh"
Wil Wheaton said, "oh man"
*** TURN *** [Th 8s 8h] [Tc]
Wil Wheaton said, "oh MAN"
*** RIVER *** [Th 8s 8h Tc] [Td]
NewinNov said, "suck suck"
Astin said, "knew that was coming"
shadowtwin said, "lol"
SoxLover said, "lol"
Wil Wheaton said, "OH MAN!"
Astin said, "WOOOO"
*** SHOW DOWN ***
shadowtwin: shows [Kd Ac] (a full house, Tens full of Eights)
NewinNov: shows [Ts Ad] (four of a kind, Tens)
Columbo777 said, "DQB"
NewinNov collected 2415 from pot
Astin said, "didn't know that was coming :)"
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 2415 Rake 0
Board [Th 8s 8h Tc Td]
Seat 1: Astin folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: SoxLover folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: Columbo777 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 5: shadowtwin showed [Kd Ac] and lost with a full house, Tens full of Eights
Seat 6: NewinNov (button) showed [Ts Ad] and won (2415) with four of a kind, Tens
Seat 7: Wil Wheaton (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 8: PhinCity (big blind) folded before Flop

If my calculations are right, my AK was about a 70% favorite over his A-10 preflop. But sometimes you can get them in way ahead only to watch the other guy flop a pair, turn trips, and river quads. Whatcha gonna do? Like I say, I am happy with my play, and I made the right call here. I can see why he made the reraise, given my relative stack size and table position. I am happy that he made the call, and I can only pray that I am up against an A-10 every time I am in with an AK. Unfortunately the cards just didn't fall in my favor this time -in a big, big way.

I gleaned the following quote from Iakaris'site, and have been itching to use it. It seems so fitting right now:

For me, I think the most realistic goal is to try to make the best decisions I can based on holdings, position and read - then hope that I am correct and that I have minimized the role of luck. After that, you just need to be able to stomach the brutal truth underlying poker and life - usually you're screwed before you even begin.

And for a slightly less defeatist outlook, I have to remember what I myself left in a comment to one of Kat's posts:
Poker really is like life; the best laid plans and most carefully thought out decisions are often rendered irrelevant by things that are beyond your control. In poker, as in life, all you can do is make good decisions that you can look back on and be happy about. When you do make a mistake, learn from it and try not to repeat it. Sooner or later good decisions will lead to good things. As long as you remain confident and never doubt your own abilities you will win, be it in life or in poker. To call it "just a game" trivializes all the time and effort spent at bettering yourself. Sometimes luck may not be on your side, but it is most certainly never "just a game".

I suppose I really have to listen to my own damn advice. There is no sense being bitter about losing a hand that I really think I should have won; it serves no purpose. Luck wasn't on my side last night, but I played well in a field of people that I both respect and fear at the poker table. I played my cards well and gave myself the best possible chance to win, in this game that is the best that anyone can hope to do.


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