Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Community Card Review – XX

In the Northeast of the United States, people are turning to the oldest form of heat used by man – wood burning stoves – both for inside and outside heat. Neighbors are complaining about the smoke traveling onto their properties. All the Northeast states are rushing to put ‘wood burning regulations” on the books to stop this “pollution abuse” by citizens trying to keep warm.

Northeast electric companies planned a massive windmill farm in the ocean off the coast of Massachusetts to satisfy an ever increasing demand for power. Who complained? That’s right – liberals. They didn’t want their pristine ocean views ruined by the wind turbines. Taxachusetts has sent their big liberal guns both to the state and federal capitals to stop the project. They are succeeding.

So, from the liberal perspective; wood, gas and wind are a problem. Oil is evil. Coal is dirty. And nuclear energy – is completely out of the question.

The liberals of the Northeast had better pray for some serious Global Warming, or they are all going to freeze to death.

Actually, the sooner the better.

PS: Where are the Al Gore New York United Nations summits on Global Warming this winter?

Actually, where is Al Gore? Shouldn't he be vying for another Nobel Peace Prize for causing this awful Northeast winter, thereby saving the polar bears....oh and mankind for those who care, at the same time?

I know it is not modesty stopping him.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Night Poker News

Faldo been muddling along this January, slightly down in the profit department.

I did have a couple final tables this month however. I finished 5th in a PokerStars 90 player SNG and 8th in a World Poker Exchange 206 player tournament. But these small cashes, coupled with my comeback in the UB challenge did not stem the tide completely. Looks like the first month of 2011 will find Faldo in the red.

Oh well, get them next month.

There is some interesting news on the internet poker landscape. In a very strange move, Doyle Brunson has moved his skin name “Doyle’s Room” from Cake Poker to the Yatahay sites – True Poker and BetCRIS.

This – from the outside looking in – is insane! First of all, Cake Poker stood 15th in the world in player traffic and 4th in the United States (BoDog Poker 5th).

True Poker stood 25th in the world and 9th out of the ten sites that accept US players.

My estimate is that this move drops Cake Poker to #7 in US traffic and raises True Poker to #8. Big deal. SNG’s still won’t fill on Cake Poker and tournaments still won’t fill on True Poker.

It is also my opinion that collusion runs rampant at True Poker.

Doyle Brunson has been a disaster every site he has put his name to. This divorce – or outright failure - is Doyle Brunson’s 7th from internet poker skins. Either he is terrible businessman, one jerk of a partner or he goes around scarfing up signing bonuses and then contributes nothing to the project.

Doyle has been at; High Rollers Poker (bust), Pamela’s (Anderson) Poker (bust), BetUSPoker(quit), TheGamingClub (bust), Platinum Poker (bust) and Cake Poker (quit).

Now True Poker picks him up? What did they gain? Well, maybe some residual advertising. Whether it continues remains to be seen. Doyle seems to drag rake fine, but is stingy with the comps. I have a feeling Cake Poker was paying for a lot of the Doyle’s Room advertising.

True Poker’s advertising - if they even had a budget – was virtually non-existent. If they are expecting Doyle to front some cash for ads, they may have a long wait. I would love to see the “slow reach for the wallet” standoff when the bill comes.

True Poker’s best attribute was the animated software with the 3D feel at the table. The avatars moved like humans and talked like humans with laughter and simple phrases, with great random table backgrouds. Doyle’s Room is only in the True Poker 2D format – which looks pretty much like every other bland site. But it still has the hitches in action that occur with the 3D version. You put up with it on TP because of the animation. You hate it with the 2D version.

I go back and forth on this. Half the year, I am a big site advocate (PokerStars, Full Tilt and Ultimate Bet). Then, half the year I get a bug to try the smaller sites “again” and see if the traffic or action has improved – or there is something out there new and improved.

There never is, and I just waste my time and money – while opening myself up to risking deposits/withdraws with the site, and collusion, bots and kill buttons at the table.

Although I am still on a couple more than these, the only sites Faldo recommends are:

Full Tilt
Ultimate Bet
Bodog Poker.

I play at Sportsbook Poker and World Sports Exchange also, but their bookie “reputation” is not top notch as far a payouts. So I do worry about that if I ever did hit a big cash there. So I don’t recommend them.

Cake Poker, as I already mentioned, along with Poker4Ever, may just be too small to remain viable. Sure, I like the sites, but the tourneys are usually nothing but big SNG’s and I worry I will log in one day and they will be gone on me (like Jet Poker, Tropical Poker, etc). They don't have a bookie service backing their cashier's window.

As a guy who has been to almost 300 on line poker sites, I would stay clear of all other sites except the four I listed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Douge2’s Humor Corner – LVI

In a local sports bar trivia quiz the other night, I lost by one point. The question was; “Where do women mostly have curly hair?” Apparently, it's Africa

One of the other questions was to name three things commonly found in cells.
It appears that Mexicans, Democrat voters and African Americans is not the correct answer.

I've heard that Apple has scrapped their plans for the new children's-oriented iPod after realizing that iTouch Kids is not a good product name.

A new Muslim clothing shop opened here in Lakeland, but I've been banned from it after asking to look at some bomber jackets.

You can say lots of bad things about pedophiles, but at least they drive slowly past school zones.

A friend of mine has just told me he's shagging his girlfriend and her twin.
I asked, "How can you tell them apart?" He said, "Her brother has a moustache"

Just put a deposit down on a brand new Porsche and mentioned it on FaceBook. I said "I can't wait for the new 911 to arrive!" Next thing I know 4000 Muslims have added me as a friend!!

Being a modest man, when I checked into my hotel on a recent trip, I said to the lady at the registration desk.
"I hope the porn channel in my room is disabled."
To which she replied, "No, it's regular porn, you sick bastard.”

The Red Cross knocked at my door asking if I could help towards the floods in Pakistan. I said I would love to, but my hose only reaches the bottom of the driveway.

A pollster for the newspaper knocked on my door and asked if Granholm did a good job? I said,

“She certainly did. She is a liberal, and as such she wants to hurt businesses, hurt taxpayers, hurt the rich while making herself wealthy, get paid for accomplishing nothing, praised by the media for the same, and move away from the destruction she orchestrated. She did a perfect job of that for herself and did a complete job on the citizens of Michigan.”

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meatsword Wins His 2nd NPP Tourney

Wow, twenty-four players made it to tonight’s game and Meatsword makes his return count! Beating a very tough field, Meatsword wins for the second time and gets into the running for the 1st quarter seat. It is a log jam.

It appears you have to be vying for your second title to get any card nub from PokerStars. Three straight winners have won for the second time.

Of course LittleRedElf and Odds2win777 don’t need any stinking cards to win. Elf was back and a factor all night.

We welcomed back three past players: Budda627, Meatsword and K9isadog. Glad you talented players returned to the fold.

The Heads Up tournament match for Pre01 vs Odds2win777 was set….I think.

On to the NPP action:

21 min: Wingsfancurt (24th) sees his (KK) lose to a flop of [558], as SpartanFlash holds (T5).

29 min: Gnosis1970 (23rd)
38 min: Odds2win777 (22nd)
43 min: Pre01 (21st)
50 min: A short-stacked (SS) Nixi44 (20th) sees her (KJ) run into SpartanFlash’s (AJ).
51 min: ThePunk75 (19th)
56 min: Absea98 (18th) sees his (TT) run into LittleRedElf’s (JJ).
58 min: Theedouble*d (17th)

1st break:
SpartanFlash 6733
BigDaddyTman 4740
LittleRedElf 3230
Meatsword 2845
Suetman1 2845
K9isadog 2296
Derf-63 2120
Budda627 1570
Tommydoo 1563
Mikeniks-Faldo 1555
95corolla 1400
T3chlady 1190
Douge2 1080
Tigercub8189 1075
BKywko1 925
Tomservo2 834
Dirtmonkey06 4541

67 min: Suetman1 (16th) with (JJ) and BigDaddyTman with (QQ) double-team the shorter-stacked Derf-63, who is holding (KK). The cooler knocks Suetman1 out.

70 min: Budda627 (15th) loses a coin flip with (44) to Meatsword’s (AK) and a [K] flop.
71 min: Tommydoo (14th) loses the exact same way with (88) to SpartanFlash.
73 min: Mikeniks-Faldo (13th) loses as a 2 to 1 favorite as my (As 9s) loses to the big stacked (twss) BigDaddyTman’s (T7) with a [7] on the flop.

I miss a few hands as my computer was several yards away from where it was sitting. When I finally realized that it was gone, I was amazed it got that far away from me. Who moved it, I don’t recall.

74 min: Tomservo2 (12th)
75 min: Douge2 (11th)
76 min: K9isadog (10th) with (AT) cannot run down BigDaddyTman’s (JJ).
86 min: A SS Derf-63 (9th) is double-teamed by SpartanFlash with a flush and LittleRedElf with a full house!

96 min: 96corolla (8th) sees his (22) run into BKrywko1’s (QQ).
99 min: A SS T3chlady (7th) has to go with (AT), but BKrywko1 holds (J8) and the flop is [588]. Welcome to Faldoland Lady.

100 min: A SS Tigercub8189 (6th) goes with (A5) and cannot catch Meatsword’s (KK).
116 min: BKrywko1 (5th) goes with (AJ) and loses the coin flip to Meatsword’s (66).
117 min: BigDaddyTman (4th) goes with (Kh Jh) and runs into LittleRedElf’s (Kd Qd).

2nd break:
Meatsword 22803
LittleRedElf 8464
SpartanFlash 4733

131 min: A SS SpartanFlash (3rd) goes with (T6), but Meatsword has (J8).

Heads up: LittleRedElf 18600 - 17400 Meatsword
135 min: LittleRedElf 18600 - 17400 Meatsword (yes, the same)
140 min: LittleRedElf 14700 - 18600 Meatsword (yes, reversed)

145 min: I am getting ready to record the stack sizes when it happened. LittleRedElf (2nd) moves moves in with (A6) (60%) and a flop of [As 6s Ks]. Meatsword calls with (Kh Qs) (40%) and hits a [Js] on the turn (91%). The river is a blank for the Elf.

Congratulations to Meatsword on his 2nd NPP win!

1st – Meatsword – 24 points
2nd – LittleRedElf – 19 points
3rd – SpartanFlash – 15 pts
4th – BigDaddyTman – 12 pts
5th – BKrywko1 – 9 pts
6th – Tigercub8189 – 7 pts
7th – T3chlady – 5 pts
8th – 95corolla – 4 pts
9th – Derf-63 – 3 pts

Every one else earned one (1) point. Standings on the right side of the blog!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ultimate Bet Challenge Update

January 2011 has been a little rough on Faldo. Even the UB Challenge was being…..well, challenged.

But this is where discipline and bankroll management save the day. I hit the $9 minimum bet mark on the downside. I had lost 6% of my total bankroll.

Now I could have stopped there, chalked up the loss as variation and a bad month, and waited for February. And that is a fine strategy. But I weighed other factors.

One, and most importantly, I felt I was playing well. The cards and opponents were just not co-operating.

Two, I was not on one of those slides, where I was losing every hand. I just could not get back to even or would lose all the session profit right before I had to stop playing.

So I decided to keep the month rolling and see if I could turn it around. I decided to make a 10% loss stop figure. I just didn’t want to tank everything in January with less than six months to go in the challenge. I still need to bet $45 by July 1 on this site.

Anyways, SNG’s didn’t earn me any victories, but a string of seconds and booking some small wins in ring play, got me back on the plus side.

Now, I will wait for February, and work to see if I can turn the other sites around.

Data dump:

Bet: $18.48
Profit/loss: +$4.87
Bankroll: $35.00 or +$26.00

With five months to go, no need to change the strategy that got us here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Odds and Ends,Thoughts and News

On the Faldo health front, I think the best analogy is that of a car with an annoying engine noise. And every time you take it to the repair shop they say, “Sorry, we don’t hear it.” Although it is good I go back into perfect heart rhythm often, sometimes I am in when I need to be out for testing! Frustrating.

While Faldo is encouraged with the return to average of the turnout in our league, I still wonder about the loss of player – whether they only played for a short while or were here for years. I always ask, was there something I could have done better or differently? I am sure most of the time it is just not their cup of tea or just not a good fit time-wise. But still I wonder.

I built a new driver for the upcoming golf season. No issues with my current one. I usually hit it pretty straight and although I will never win a long drive contest, I’m long enough to get by (twss). But I do hit a line drive - drive. Much like my softball days, it is usually a - line drive up the middle. If the fairway is wet, has a hazard in front or is uphill (twss), this becomes an issue. My new 12 degree driver (same head design as the current one (twss)), should add height and even assist with working the ball off the tee. I have to remove a club to carry two drivers (14 is the legal limit you know), and I may consider removing my 13 degree 3-wood. Maybe I can hit the second driver off the deck! It will be a fun challenge this upcoming year.

By the way, as an added bonus, Faldo will build or repair your clubs at no labor cost to all NPP players.

My job is transferring from North East to North West. About the same commute time wise, but a little longer (twss). Just happy to be able to need to make the commute. At least I am no longer a squinter.

Our nation is on the verge of being temporarily saved from destruction. The House passed the bill to repeal Obamacare. The bill now moves to the Senate, where Democrat chairman Harry Reid is unconstitutionally trying to block a vote on the bill at all. Why, you may ask?

Because it is a no win situation three ways for the Socialist-Communist Democrats. If Reid blocks the vote, the public will learn the Democrats act like dictators when their desires are not those of the American people.

If there is a vote, the three or four dozen Democrat Senators up for re-election will be forced to vote on the record - again - FOR this unconstitutional Obamacare. They don’t want that.

Third, if only four Democrat senators somehow turn back into Americans from the traitors they have been (even if it is just to save their cushy job), and the Repeal Obamacare Bill passes the Senate – then Obama will either have to sign the bill to kill his greatest "acheivement (disaster more like it)" or veto the bill to stop the end of Obamacare.

In front of the entire nation, the sitting president will have to veto a bill that 70% of the American people want passed. Hang on to your helmets – hell, get a helmet -if that happens.

On the poker side, Faldo’s play and finish last Tuesday basically sums up how it is going this month on the virtual felt. Nothing is rolling right now. Although not bleeding cash, it has been a steady drip of small loses. Here is to hoping it will turn around by the end of the month.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BigDaddyTman Wins His 2nd NPP Tourney

A better turnout as BigDaddyTman weaved his way thru twenty other players to win his second NPP event. This tightened up the 1st quarter race immensely. That is what makes this league so much fun!

We welcomed back some past players: Dirtmonkey06, Wwsatando and SpartanFlash. And said hello to a new player; 95corolla. Welcome to NPP there 95.

By the way, I will get this Heads Up tournament rolling again. My email crash slowed us down.

On to the NPP action:

8 min: 95corolla (21st) got the standard NPP introduction by PokerStars as his (KK) ran into LittleRedElf’s (AA).

27 min: Tommydoo (20th)
35 min: A short-stacked (SS) Mikeniks-Faldo (19th) sees his (AK) lose to Pre01’s (KT) as a [K] hit the flop, but a [T] hit the turn. Just not my night.

40 min: Wwsatando (18th) sees his (QQ) run into SpartanFlash’s (KK).
41 min: Tigercub8189 (17th)
44 min: A SS T3chlady (16th) with (QJ) cannot run down Suetman1 with (AA).
51 min: BKrywko1 (15th) loses a coin flip with (55) to LittleRedElf’s (KT) and a [K] flop.

53 min: ThePunk75’s (14th) bad luck continued AGAIN in the exact same spot in the tournament as his shove with (KK) ran into Douge2’s (AA).

54 min: Tomservo2 (13th) loses a coin flip with (Ah Kh) to Derf-63’s (99).
57 min: Nixi44 (12th) sees her (88) get run down by Derf-63’s (Ad 9d) with a [9] on the flop.

59 min: Gnosis1970 (11th) is double-teamed by Absea98 and Dirtmonkey06. Dirt covered Gno.

1st break:
Derf-63 6815
Douge2 5645
Dirtmonkey06 4541
SpartanFlash 4184
LittleRedElf 4070
Suetman1 1820
BigDaddyTman 1555
Absea98 1535
Pre01 1145
Duder1123 190 (never showed)

62 min: Duder1123 (10th) never made it to the table and almost got a final table appearance out of it!

63 min: Suetman1 (9th)
68 min: Absea98 (8th) sees his (AK) run into BigDaddyTman’s (AA).
83 min: A SS Douge2 (7th) has to go with (KJ), but Pre01 holds (KK).
86 min: SpartanFlash (6th) is double-teamed by BigDaddyTman and LittleRedElf.
105 min: A SS LittleRedElf (5th) goes with (A3) and runs into Dirtmonkey06’s (AQ).
117 min: Then, a SS Dirtmonkey06 (4th) has to go with (KT) runs into Pre01’s (KK).

2nd break:
Pre01 13503
Derf-63 9782
BigDaddyTman 8215

123 min: Pre01 gets crippled when his (KK) gets run down by BigDaddyTman’s (77) and a [7] on the flop.

127 min: Then BigDaddy continues the assault when his (K2) gets a flop of [KQK] against Pre01’s (3rd) (A8). No PokerStars nub for Pre….at the worst possible time.

Heads up: BigDaddyTman 16400 - 15100 Derf-63
130 min: BigDaddyTman 21900 - 9600 Derf-63

132 min: Derf-63 (2nd) moves in with (3h 2h) and BigDaddyTman calls with (87) and hits an [8] on the turn. Big cards or little, BigDaddy had the flop.

Congratulations to BigDaddyTman on his 2nd NPP win!

1st – BigDaddyTman – 24 points
2nd – Derf-63 – 19 points
3rd – Pre01 – 15 pts
4th – Dirtmonkey06 – 12 pts
5th – LittleRedElf – 9 pts
6th – SpartanFlash – 7 pts
7th – Douge2 – 5 pts
8th – Absea98 – 4 pts
9th – Suetman1 – 3 pts

Every one else earned one (1) point. Standings on the right side of the blog!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Community Card Review – XlX

The New York Times – the American Soviet Pravda newspaper – praised Obamacare as the greatest legislation to right inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.

The definition of Inequality for liberals is anytime the economy is doing well. Three decades ago (30 years for those of you in Ann Arbor) would be back when Ronald Reagan was president, and the United States started its rise to record prosperity.

Last year, fat bonuses were handed out to the liberal executives at the New York Times. The Chairman and President received over $10 million in bonuses and stock options.

That has liberal journalists in Boston ready to form their own Tea Party! While the liberal executives lined their pockets, The Boston Globe workers were taking massive pay cuts or face the closure of their newspaper.

So the Boston Newspaper Guild published a letter in response to this inequality:

“During the year in which you were so richly rewarded, we gave back $10 million in benefits to save our newspaper from the closing you threatened. Now that the Times has shown it can afford to lavish bonuses on two top executives, we expect our pay and benefits to be returned to us.”

Don’t hold your breath Boston. Anyone find it odd that the amount taken from the Boston workers almost matches what Pinch Schultzberger and Janet Robinson got as bonuses?

It is hypocritical that Pinch and Janet write editorials denouncing executive bonuses at the expense of workers – while doing the exact same thing to their own workers.

But they are liberals. Being a hypocrite is in the liberal DNA. They just can’t help it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

PokerStars Home Games – The Future of NPP?

First, a couple notes. I hope you enjoyed the Poker Chronicles article I “borrowed”. I thought Part I was especially good (twss). I hope you realized, it was not Faldo’s story. For Faldo’s story, on this site search “White Whale.”

Another order of business: Odds2win777 and Pre01 – please email Faldo and comment on here. We need to get your match set up and I don’t have valid emails for either one of you! Damn spammer.

Now for the title article:
PokerStars now has a “Home Game” tab. This is where anyone can establish their own home game; league, ring play, tournaments, or any or all of the afore mentioned. This renders Faldo useless (twss).

Our league will be handled in the exact same manor we are doing it, until Faldo A) gets approved from PokerStars to use it (takes about five days they say) and B) figures out how to navigate the new “Home Game” page. Faldo can’t always figure out how to play with new toys (twss).

I guess it will keep the league records, roster and the attendance for Faldo. We could even set up cash games also. I think this might bring Davethedog back to us as this was his true vision: a cheap on-line home game with lots of drinking and -you know - the supportive banter at the table for which always is a part of any home game with Faldo and Davethedog.

And we could set up a side Omaha tournament where ThePunk75 can lure us into his trap and crush us. I’m in.

Here is a better review of the “situation” of PS home games from “Hard Boiled Poker”:

“I’ve been reading around about the new Home Games, exploring the FAQs to find out more about how they’ll work. It looks like each player is only allowed to set up a single “club” (for which he or she will act as “Club Manager”), but everyone is able to participate in as many as three different clubs. Also, each club is limited to 50 participants.

When setting up a club, the Club Manager chooses a name and also creates a special invitation code that he or she then gives to invited players. From what I can tell, there isn’t a way to send that invite/code through the PokerStars client, but it has to be done separately (e.g., via email). Once a player gets an invite, he or she will click on a “Join a Poker Club” button and enter the code. Sounds a little like those ESPN “clubs” for fantasy leagues or pick’em pools, actually.

The Club Manager also acts as a Club Administrator, and can additionally grant administrative privileges to other invited players, including scheduling tournaments and setting up customized ring games. Most of the games are available (hold’em, Omaha, stud, H.O.R.S.E.), and via the game management tools one can customize a number of details like the way the club lobby looks and so on. Sounds like there are ways to set up leaderboards, player stats, and other fun stuff, too.”

I will tell you more later, when I get it figured out. But for now, we still are located on the Private tab.

This week is tournament #352674473. 20:00 Niks Poker Palace #1-3.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why I Quit Playing Poker for a Living, Pt. 2– from the Poker Chronicles

There is, that I know of, only one way to deal with the emotional roller coaster that is professional poker, and that is to love the game. In the beginning, I did. I had as close to a natural aptitude for poker as it is possible for one to have. I was an extremely mathematical, logical, emotionally stable young man. Like most in my situation, I was pretty optimistic.

Poker was less like a class and more like a standardized test, challenging you to solve an intricate puzzle quickly. I'd never taken one of those and not ranked in the top percentile, and poker was much the same. I read a couple books, got lucky and won big over my first couple weekends at the Vegas Nights, and by the time the cards caught up to me and I lost the profit back, I'd figured out all I needed to win consistently.

I was quickly broke, though technically still well in the black since I'd spent much of the money. Ironically enough the biggest expenditure was two new tires to replace the ones that were damaged when I parked on an errant nail at the Vegas Nights. I took a little time to reflect, rebuild the bankroll (i.e. wait for a paycheck that didn’t come in shortly after rent was due) and read a couple more books, and when I returned to the tables a couple weeks later it was as if I was an entirely new person.

Something had just clicked. All of a sudden I'd switched from the unsure newbie to a seasoned professional. Low limit Texas Hold'em just made sense. I felt like the poker equivalent of Robert Johnson, who disappeared for a short while and came back such a greatly improved guitarist that legends sprang up of him having sold his soul to the devil.

And maybe in some metaphorical sense that's what I'd done too, as that was without a doubt the most significant turning point in my life. It's when I knew for sure that the straight and narrow wasn’t for me. I still spent a few years struggling with that fact, pressured by friends and family to follow the traditional middle-class white male route through life. Get a degree, become a programmer or a teacher or a lawyer or a doctor, get married, have kids, settle down. Poker made me realize just how boring and unfulfilling that all seemed. And I mean no offense to those who went that route, it just wasn't for me.

When I came back from my hiatus I went on a tear, winning session after session. Each time out I learned a little more and got a little better. For weeks it was one big win after another. I cut through other people's bankrolls like a hot knife through butter, to the point where I'd sit down at a table and four players would leave. One of the guys who ran the game told me, on more than one occasion, to take it easy.

I was, for that short period of time, a juggernaut, a second rake, as inevitable as death and taxes for those who chose to play $3/$6 in Summit County. Of course, that was my first winning streak, the exact opposite of the losing ones I described in part one. It's the best time in a poker player's life.

The prolonged period in which every decision makes itself, every two pair holds up and every flush comes in, is the greatest feeling you'll ever get. You feel like you know more about poker than anyone else ever knew, even if you're really just beating plumbers out of their weekend money. And you must because you won every hand.

And that was it for me. From then on, I was to be a professional poker player. It was a couple years before I had the courage and bankroll management skills to make the jump. I even didn't play poker for nearly a year at one point in an attempt to focus on school. But in hindsight, it was inevitable.

After my amazing $3/$6 run settled down, I kept winning (though at a much more reasonable pace) and the game remained fun for a couple years. My two friends, John and Jason, started playing as much as I was, and were winning big (for the stakes) as well. If anything Jason was probably even better than me at those tables because of his totally unflappable demeanor.

Low stakes limit hold'em is, more than anything, about executing a fairly simple plan, almost mechanically, and the only real impediment to doing so is the emotional turmoil caused by the variance, which is magnified by a small bankroll. Jason was a really smart guy who rarely if ever tilted and had enough money saved up to deal with the swings, so he was pretty much as close to perfect as humanly possible.

The three of us would split our winnings/losses most of the time. That was good and bad. The good was that it reduced the variance to a manageable level and allowed us to play off of individual bankrolls that were much smaller than we would have needed otherwise without being under too much pressure. I learned how to work with John in very high-stress situations, which has really come in handy now that we're in a startup together. Startups are stressful relative to normal jobs but a joke compared to poker.

And it gave all three of us a group to review hands and bounce ideas off of, which was invaluable. In fact, I wish I had some of our late night dinners on tape. I still remember one night at a shitty little hole in the wall called Peg's (we frequented it since it was near the Barberton Armory, where most of the Nights were held before 9/11, and it was open 24/7) arguing over whether or not one should play King-Jack under the gun. I thought you should limp, John thought you should fold. Now we're both pretty sure we were both wrong. In hindsight, it's hilarious how little we knew.

We also tried to sit at different tables where possible, since it's obviously better to have a table of you and 10 suckers, rather than you, two people who are as good as you, and 8 suckers. (Though I discovered years later that it isn't anywhere near as much better as you might intuitively think. Really as you replace suckers with sharks, up to a certain limit, what happens is that for the most part the suckers just lose more, and the sharks' EV decreases only a small amount.) Unfortunately, though, in a brick and mortar poker room that has more customers than available seats, you really don't have much control over the arrangements, so we ended up together a lot of the time.

Another tough part was the accountability. If John decided to straddle or blind raise or do something else goofy just for fun, it would make me mad because it was my money. I wasn't there to have fun, I was there to make money. Any fun had was just a fringe benefit as far as I was concerned. If one person went on tilt, it cost the other two, causing you to wonder if you should say something, and maybe making you play badly too as you watched your money fly out the window. (On the other hand, though, if you were having a bad day and your partners were killing, it probably kept you from tilting. In the end it probably evens out, but the negative side of the equation sticks in your memory much more than the positive.)

In poker there's always a fine line between accepting the fact that everyone tilts or makes bad plays some times (which is true) and being overly accepting of individual instances, which leads to more. Even though you have to recognize your basic humanity, and that you will make mistakes because of it, you also have to be careful to never use that as an excuse. This was perhaps the most valuable life lesson I got from poker, which is that you must always hold yourself accountable and accept responsibility for your mistakes. And that's hard enough, but when splitting, you're accountable to others as well, and them to you.

Overall, I'm very glad we split. They were fun times. And we made a lot of money for people our age. I remember keeping track once for what came out to about 1,000 playing hours, and in the end I had made roughly $17 per hour. (I also kept track of splitting separately and made about $1 per hour off of it, so over that time John and Jason combined made a little more than I did.) That's almost three big bets per hour, or, given the pace of those games, roughly 9 big bets per 100 hands. And that was with a 10% up to $5 rake. Anywhere else results like that would seem to be an anomaly, but at the Vegas Nights they were sustainable.

And it was a pretty good chunk of change for a 19 year old to make from his hobby. All of my friends were broke, and I always had a wallet full of hundreds. While my coworkers were trying their damnd-est to get more scheduled hours, I'd routinely take a few days off of work, unpaid, to head up to Soaring Eagle, an Indian casino in Michigan that only required players to be 18.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

T3chlady Wins Her 2nd NPP Tourney

Seventeen players were on hand tonight. Another light turnout, but two new players were on hand. Actually one new player – Gnosis1970 - and a re-tread, but a nice re-tread – Duder1123.

Last week was a marathon, but tonight was a sprint. Players left so fast, Faldo’s record keeping could not keep up. Several things were going on behind my chair here at NPP headquarters – while the action was going on. I was not at peace to play cards until after 1st break.

Plus, a player wanted in the tourney without going thru pre-registering with Faldo and I was busy both chastising and coaxing the player to join us.

T3chlady FINALLY got some love at PokerStars. Not only did a friendly card finally hit the board for her, but her hands actually held up for once!

I of course have seen her career at NPP and her luck as been as bad as anyone’s on NPP nights. Faldo included. The only difference is, where Faldo whines, T3chlady simply would say, “Oh well. See you all next week!”

I got to practice that type of graceful exit from lost tournaments. Starting next year.

Congratulations T3chlady!

On to the action (as much of it as I got):

2 min: Odds2win777 (17th) goes with (As Qs) with a [Q] and two spades on the flop. But Faldo’s (KK) holds on.

10 min: Wingsfancurt (16th)
25 min: Suetman1 (15th)
28 min: Sirgash (14th)
31 min: Douge2 (13th)
32 min: Tommydoo (12th)
35 min: Derf-63 (11th)
38 min: Pre01 (10th) sees his (55) fall to Nixi44’s (AQ) with an [A] on the flop.
49 min: A SS (short stack) Tomservo2 (9th) goes with (KJ) and runs into Absea98’s (KQ).

55 min: Nixi44 (8th) makes a semi-bluff with (Ac 7c) and a flop of [3c 4h 6c], but cannot run down T3chlady’s (JJ).

56 min: The Break Monster gets revved up a little early. Two big stacks collide when a flop of [7K4] hits Duder1123 (K4) and Gnosis1970 (77) at the same time! Duder is crippled.

57 min: Break Monster not done! Theedouble*d gets crippled as his (6h 3h) hits a bingo [Jh 5h 2h]! T3chlady has to call with (JJ). The [5s] on the turn – moves DD to dd.

60 min: Break Monster STILL not done! A SS ThePunk75 (7th) finally gets a hand (AK), but runs into Gnosis1970’s (AA). Wow Break Monster. You can rest now.

1st break:
T3chlady 11310
Gnosis1970 8781
Mikeniks-Faldo 2292
Absea98 1260
Duder1123 1107
Theedouble*d 750

A record speed close to our tournament:
63 min: Theedouble*d (6th) moves with (77), but T3chlady is holding (JJ). Ouch!
64 min: A SS Duder1123 (5th) runs into T3chlady with (AA).
65 min: A SS Absea98 (4th) tries with (A7) but Faldo has (AJ).

67 min: Is it time for a Faldo rush? Yes, right out of the tournament, naturally. Mikeniks-Faldo (3rd) hits bingo with (T5) in the big blind. T3chlady limps in with (KT). The flop is [T56] and Faldo is salivating (72%). He might be able to get back in this thing.

T3 bets and Faldo raises, hoping for a fold – well aware that over-cards could do him in. When T3 calls, he knows that is exactly what he is up against – a pair with an over card kicker. Maybe trips, but Faldo is pot committed anyway.

The turn is the [9c] and Faldo pushes and gets called (80%). The river is the [9d] and my kicker problem kicks me out.

Heads up: T3chlady 20000 - 5500 Gnosis1970

70 min: A SS Gnosis1970 (2nd) has to ship it with (AK) on a flop of [8d 7s 6s]. T3chlady calls with every draw in the world (Js 9s). A [5] on the turn ends it.

Congratulations to T3chlady on her 2nd NPP win!

1st – T3chlady – 24 points
2nd – Gnosis1970 – 19 points
3rd – Mikeniks-Faldo – 15 pts
4th – Absea98 – 12 pts
5th – Duder1123 – 9 pts
6th – Theedouble*d – 7 pts
7th – ThePunk75 – 5 pts
8th – Nixi44 – 4 pts
9th – Tomservo2 – 3 pts

Every one else earned one (1) point. Standings are on the right side of the blog.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Why I Quit Playing Poker For A Living, Pt. 1 – from the Poker Chronicles

As I research why we have lost players in this league - and can't seem to get any more, I saw this great article. Enjoy.

“A lot of people ask me why I quit playing poker. When people ask a question like that they're expecting a fairly brief answer, and unfortunately the full version is a long story that's hard to tell in any reasonable amount of time. So I usually give them the executive summary, which was that I felt it was time to move on. That's definitely true, though somewhat vague. But it's better than the answer they seem to expect, which ranges from "I went broke" to "I lost my house in a bad game of 5 card stud. Then my wife left me. And she took the dog," depending on how much they know about poker.”

Luckily for me that wasn’t the case. At one point I just knew it was time to find another path through life. Like a bad poker player who just got his pocket aces cracked on the turn, though, I kept pushing it. I continued to play long after my instincts told me give up and suffered the consequences. Had I understood myself better, I could have saved a lot of pain, and a nice chunk of money. But I didn’t. I overstayed my welcome and paid dearly for it.

Why it was time to quit, and why poker eventually ceased to be what it used to for me is hard to explain to someone who doesn’t play it for a living, and near impossible for someone who doesn’t even play as a hobby. I'll try my best for both though. To understand, there are a few things that one has to know about playing poker.

The most important is that no matter how well you play, you often lose. It's just part of the nature of the game, and, for that matter, any game largely subject to random events. Even the best poker players can lose for a very long time. Depending on the variant you're playing that could mean months, or even, in rare cases, years. Losing streaks are an unfortunate fact of life. In fact, for a professional poker player, they're the most unfortunate.

Another thing to understand is that in poker you can't fake it, or at least you shouldn’t. If you're a writer, or an accountant, or a lawyer, or have just about any other occupation I can think of, you can phone it in when you need to and nothing too bad will happen. You can go to work, fly under the radar for a day, not be your fully productive self, and you'll still get paid. They won't cancel your health insurance and you'll still accrue your vacation time. It's likely nobody will even notice, and if they did, they might be understanding, since everyone is in that position sooner or later. At some jobs you can get away with this for days at a time, and a lot of people make entire careers out of it.

Not so in poker. You can play badly for a day, but you're just costing yourself money. You might get lucky and win, or you might not and lose, but you'll win less or lose more than you should have. Either way if you're playing badly you're costing yourself money. In a game where the best player has only a one or two percent edge, playing badly is far worse than not playing at all. It's the only job I know of where, 100% of the time, you will only hurt yourself by functioning suboptimally.

Moreover, there's a huge difference between playing at 100% and 90%. Poker is a game of very fine edges, where you are rewarded for making a lot of good decisions that are, mathematically speaking, only slightly better than the alternatives. So while a programmer who is having a bit of an off day but is still almost as productive as normal can make progress, a poker player who is making almost as many decisions correctly as he normally does can actually go from being a significant winner to a significant loser. If you can't bring your A game to the table, you're better off staying home.

Poker is also an extremely complex game. So much so that computers are unable to function at even a passable level. (Contrast this to chess, where they are able to consistently outperform even the best humans.) As such, nobody plays their best game of poker at all times. It's impossible. Sometimes you're going to be off of your A game. We are irrational, emotional creatures. That's not our fault; we're a product of evolution, and those same emotions that once kept us from choosing the wrong mate or being eaten by a lion hamper us in daily life. And nowhere do they hurt us more than at the poker table, a battleground where cold math, logic and objectivity are a person's only assets, and everything else is a liability.

Playing badly happens a lot more frequently than one might expect, even for the players with the tightest reigns over their emotions (which I was once one of, but am no longer). And it happens the most when you're on one of the inevitable losing streaks. A losing streak in poker is almost inexplicable to someone who hasn’t experienced it. The best way I can translate it to normal people is this:

Imagine you go to work every day and do your absolute best. You work as hard as you can, do everything perfectly, or at least as close to it as humanly possible, and throughout the day, every 15 minutes, your boss comes over and tells you that you are an idiot. Each time he tells you that everything you do is wrong, even if you know it's not. Then instead of paying you, he forces you to write a check to the company.

That's about how stressful losing streaks are. You question everything you do. Every decision you're faced with seems tough, and almost every one you make turns out, in hindsight, to have been wrong. You doubt your ability, because as a human, you've been programmed to equate success with good decision making and failure with bad. You tell yourself over and over that you just have to keep playing the way you always have and it will turn around, but deep down you start to doubt it. You have no choice, it's operant conditioning in action.

Because of the variance, poker is also a game in which very little can ever be known for certain. The high fluctuations make proving any useful theory only possible in hindsight. You can mathematically examine your past results and prove that you are a winning player or a losing player to a high degree of certainty, but it takes such a large sample size that once done, it's entirely useless. You can determine that your wins over the last year (if you played a hell of a lot of hands over that time) were outside of the range attributable to luck. You can discover your realistic minimum and maximum expectation for that time, and if the bottom of the range is above zero, you're mathematically certain to have been a winning player.

But that was last year. The game has changed. You've made changes to your game, and aren’t playing the same way anymore. Your opponents are different. Maybe you moved up a limit or two so they're a little tougher, or maybe you stayed at the same game but the field changed. You can't prove that you are a winner, only that you were. So on a losing streak, you can't simply turn to math or logic to console you, because it can only help explain the past. Ask it if you are playing well right now and the only answer you get is "I don't know. Play a year and ask me again."

The other option is, and many people take this approach, to simply never question yourself, no matter what. Just keep playing the same way and assume that any bad runs are simply due to luck. This, too, is extremely dangerous, because the minute you're wrong, you're headed for broke. The Peter Principle will ensure that you will, at some point, hit a level of competition that's too strong for you, and your ego won't let you adapt. You'll march blindly into the poorhouse.

So being good at poker, at least professionally, means walking a fine line between the two extremes. You must be willing to consider that you should adapt, but not be too hasty to do so, because changing a winning game can be just as bad as not changing a losing one. You must simultaneously have faith in your own abilities and question whether or not you could be playing much better. It's a delicate balance, and one that takes an incredible emotional toll on you.

This is, in a nutshell, why playing poker is often referred to as a "hard way to make an easy living." It's all the stress of the losing streak. To put it in perspective, I once met someone who quit a job as an air traffic controller, long considered the most stressful job in existence, to play poker for a living. He did it for a year and claimed to have made about 25% more than he would have at his job, but went back to his old career because, as he said, it was "far less stressful".”

Friday, January 07, 2011

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Community Card Review – XlX

Democrats have been (and always been) the most corrupt administrations, campaigns and people ever to be involved in any political process – including the Soviet Union, Cuba or any middle-eastern Islamic monarchy.

New York Congressman Eric Massa stepped down after sexually harassing a male staffer. Charlie Rangel was forced out of his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee (the group that spends tax payer dollars) because of ….what else, tax evasion.

We only have to look at Detroit for Kwami Kilpatrick and Coleman A. Young – Democrats. In Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, the Daleys and Barack Hussein Obama in Illinois. And Eliot Spitzer in New York. I could go on for pages, but you get the drift. Clinton, LBJ, FDR. The list is endless.

Even honest Jimmy Carter is still graded as the worst American president of all time. He will lose this title in 2 years. Even on the off-chance a Democrat is honest, he is incompetent. If you think I am just bashing – you are either ignorant of or denying history.

Meanwhile, most Democrat crooks are still in office. Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, etc – are still stealing.

Democrats ruthlessly apply taxes to ‘play by the rules Americans’, while elevating tax cheats to run the treasury and write tax laws.

Democrats give American citizen Miranda rights to terrorists, while they court martial Nave Seals because a detainee gets a bloody lip resisting capture.

Democrat political appointees routinely bash free enterprise, insult religious groups and criticize their own country.

Obama uses hate to attack American businesses on one hand, while extorting campaign contributions with the other.

Democrats refuse to acknowledge that Man-make Global Warming was a hoax, in order to raise taxes and to control more and more industries.

And even now, Democrats fight to keep socialized medicine alive AGAINST the express wishes of the American people.

The deal is Democrats have no moral authority – because liberalism has no moral foundation. They have no “right” vs “wrong” compass. That is why their blatant hypocrisies mean nothing to them. Actually, they can’t even see them. – end

Post Article Note: You probably noticed the npokerp email was spammed. I lost every email, received and sent that I had saved. I also lost every email address. It was a complete wipe out.

Please send me an email when you get a chance, so I can re-build my Contacts and so I can better serve the players of this league.

Thanks, Faldo.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Odds2win777 Wins His 4rd NPP Tourney

Odds2win777 keeps moving up the NPP Walk of Fame with his 4th NPP win of his career over seventeen NPP regulars.

It was a tough road to victory as our battle hardened veterans battled for almost 3 hours. And we did not have that many entries. It’s just when the talent is as level, and as familiar with the opposition as the NPP stable is, it takes time to squeak out a victory.

We had a disappointing turnout – in my never humble opinion. We were missing about eight to ten regulars or else my over/under line of 24 would have been covered.

What ‘worries’ Faldo is the lack of new players entering the fold – and the exiting of many of our best and nicest players.

League play is not for everyone. I understand that. This is giving me food for future articles. Folks, we have to discuss it or we will be slowly going extinct – like Europeans.

Anyway, this is food for future articles. We have to discuss this as a group.

On to the NPP action:

42 min: It took 42 minutes for the first exit! Wow! Mistermusic5 (17th) with (AT) cannot catch Odds2win77 with (22).

48 min: Then Yecats423 (16th) loses her coin flip (55) to Sirgash with (AQ) when an [A] hits the flop.

52 min: Suetman1 (Ah Kc) and ThePunk75 (Ac Qc) call TresStooge’s short-stack (SS) all-in with (7s 7d). After the flop of [Ad 6d 8d], all the money is in for all three players. The turn gives TresStooges the win, and put the hurt on ThePunk75.

Now a rush of exits by the Break Monster!

57 min: Absea98 (15th) (AQ) is removed by the now hot TresStooges (AK).
58 min: ThePunk75’s (14th) bad luck continued as his SS shove with (A9) is out-pipped by Suetman1’s (AT).

59 min: Merhibka (13th) runs into Odds2win777’s quad fours!
60 min: SS LittleRedElf (12th) – missed it getting the other results.

1st break:
Tommydoo 4970
TresStooges 4815
Sirgash 3080
Odds2win777 3048
Tomservo2 2270
Suetman1 2085
BKrywko1 1690
Derf-63 1418
Mikeniks-Faldo 1070
BigDaddyTman 620
Nixi44 434

65 min: Derf-63 (11th) (AK) loses his coin flip to Tomservo2 (JJ).

61 min: BigDaddyTman (10th)bubbles as he runs into Tomservo2’s quad 4’s!! That is two sets of quad fours tonight!

68 min: Suetman1 gets smacked down again as her (AA) loses to Tommydoo’s flush. As BigDaddyTman put it earlier, “All that slow chip building work – for nothing!”

73 min: A cruel end for TresStooges (9th) as his (AK) takes the lead on the flop [K] over Odds2win777’s (77), but the turn brings another [7].

82 min: A SS Nixi44 (8th) with (22) is double teamed by Sirgash (AK) and Tomservo2 (A8) and an [8] on the flop wins it for Tom.

A long battle ensues now for twenty-four minutes with four players all taking turns coming back from SS elimination. Take a guess which of the four is first to lose. You would be correct.

106 min: Mikeniks-Faldo (7th) has to go with (6d 5d) and a [5] on the flop. But there si also a [9] and Suetman1 holds (A9).

110 min: But a still SS Suetman1 (6th) has to go with (AT) and she runs into Odds2win777’s (AA).

2nd break:
Odds2win777 9667
Sirgash 5670
BKrywko1 4735
Tomservo2 3021
Tommydoo 2407

130 min: BKrywko1 (5th) goes card dead. Welcome to Faldo’s world. I’ve always been that way.

131 min: A SS Tomservo2 (4th) has to go with (KQ) runs into Sirgash’s (A6).
138 min: Tommydoo (3rd) Sorry, I missed it.
139 min: Sirgash (2nd) moves in with (Ad 9d) and Odds2win777 calls with (QT) and hits a [Q] on the flop!

Congratulations to Odds2win777 on his 4rd NPP win!

Standings on the right side of the blog!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

18th Season at Niks Poker Palace Starts Tonight

Same password as last year. If you need it, write me at npokerp @ yahoo dot com.

If you are coming back to the league or are joining for the first time, please include at least your first name and your PokerStars handle in the email.

Just some side notes:

Faldo feels fine and so far so good with heart rhythm.

There have been over 5 million tournaments scheduled on PokerStars just since our Heads-up tournament started!

Derf-63 is in the finals of the winner's bracket of the Heads-Up tourney - two years in a row, and was last year's champ!

Boother36 and Matchy throw great and friendly card games! Plan on making one this year. Great time and great guys.

I am still in my Bowl football pool. but the Stanford win put a big hurtin on my chances. I had Destiny in my own hands (TWSS), but she slipped away. How does a team play so hard for a coach who is bailing on them? Oh, well.

New season. Time to meet new friends and enjoy the old ones. Good luck everyone!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

First Two Final Tables for Faldo in 2011 – and one for ThePunk75

Entered 5 ninety player SNG’s and managed two final tables. I multi-tabled four tourneys for the most part. I got knocked out of #2 quickly, so I fired up #5 quickly. I made the final table in #3 and #5, finishing 5th and 2nd respectively.

I make 4x my buy-ins for my efforts. Meanwhile, ThePunk75 was doing his thing:

“It was a hyper turbo 6 handed No Limit Omaha tournament on PokerStars tonight. 258 players and the whole tourney took less than one hour. The final table in fact might of lasted 5 hands in total as two players including myself went out on the first hand. I ended up 6th, with a little over 10x my buy in.”


Also New Years Day, Botther36 hosted his usual friendly New Years Day game. Bo, Dave, Matchy, Beerhog and Faldo were there and exchanged lots of laughs, lots of groans over the Big 10 in bowl games, and very little money.

A great time Boother, thanks.

Not a bad way to start of 2011