Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Home Stretch

Warning: Fantasy Football Content only

It's crunch time for Fantasy Football. 6 more weeks left, and in both my leagues, I'm still competitive.

First off, the $100 league. As of this week I'm in a 4 way tie for 2nd, one game behind first place. This league has a bit of a different structure; no playoffs, just best record at the end of the season. I've always preferred this way because, if you get really hot, you can coast to 1st place without concern of losing the title due to a playoff format.

Anyways, with so many teams within 1 game or tied with each other, I felt I had to make a bold move. I was looking pretty good for the rest of the season; my next three games are against some of the worst teams in the league & I've got the highest scoring team. But I wasn't feeling as confident as I liked, and it was due to one player in particular: Brian Westbrook

Steady, reliable Brian Westbrook has been anything but the past three weeks, and in the last 6 games, he has three games against some of the best run defenses (Balt, NYG & Wash). I hated getting rid of him since he was so crucial to my victory last year, in addition to being my No. 1 pick this year, but I didn't feel like I could count on him. Plus, I was able to get someone I felt a little more comfortable with: Anquan Boldin.

Now, my lineup will be Thomas Jones at RB followed by Boldin, Wayne & Roddy White at WR. I lack RB depth (which I'm trying to improve by trading away Cotchery) but I've got a starting lineup featuring the No.2 RB and 3 of the top 6 WRs. Hopefully the move will pay off, literally.

In Skidoo's blogger league, Schaubs was my latest victim as I've used a 3 game winning streak to get back into playoff contention. However, I've only got two more games to make sure I stay there. I've been very active in this league, making more trades and waiver wire pickups than anyone else, mostly due to a poor draft. Some transactions have worked out (picking up Tyler Thigpen, trading Jennings for T. Jones, trading James for Matt Jones), others not so much (dropping Berrian too early, possibly overpaying for Braylon Edwards). I don't have a lot of confidence in my team, but if I can keep up with the luck I've had, I'm confident that I can use my FF skills to sneak into the playoffs and maybe cause some damage.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bad Beat

Just because I'm not playing online poker right now doesn't mean I'm safe from losing coin flips:


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Actual Poker Content!

For someone who is unemployed and essentially broke, I shouldn't be anywhere near a poker table these days. But with the girlfriend out of town, I had no one to convince me that going to the casino for a tournament tonight was a bad idea. However, after playing a $10 home game last night, I couldn't control the itch, so I made the trek back to Rascal's, the same casino where Cayne scored his first live MTT win a couple weeks ago.

I mentioned to Cayne last week at my Halloween party (one of the few conversations I can remember) that I had lost a lot of confidence in my game lately, stemming all the way back to months ago. As excited as I was for his victory, I couldn't help but think that I should be doing that too. I don't mean that as any slight to Cayne; he's certainly a formidable poker player in his own right. I mean that in the sense that, at a game like that, I shouldn't be thinking anything but how I'm going to win the tournament. I took this new approach to Rascal's tonight. Even though I was playing with money I could definitely use elsewhere, I made sure not to play with scared money and just focus on playing a solid game.

For my first actual poker post in a while, I suppose I should give you a proper recap, but I'll spare you the play by play details. Instead, I'll just give a Chako-style bullet point recap:

- Played more tight-aggressive than in previous tournaments, was able to get a couple big aces to take down some pots preflop. I played maybe 2 hands before the CO, and only limped 2 hands preflop that weren't SB hands.
- Focused more on reading people, stole a nice pot on a K77 flop by floating & betting out turn.
- 3 pairs on the night: KK and two QQ. Only one QQ went to showdown, but allowed me to double through a big stack & hit the final table in either 2nd or 3rd place.
- Played 2 hands before the money hit; both took the blinds to keep my stack decent.
- Took 4th place out with QJ vs AJ (AIPF) with a sick runner-runner flush.
- Was slight chipleader afterwards with 68k before 40k stack doubled through 2nd place then took him out in back to back hands.

Down to two, my opponent offered an even chop. 1st paid 340, 2nd paid 180. He had me outchipped nearly 2:1, and with blinds at 10k, it was going to come down to me catching better cards to win. Considering that I shouldn't have even been there, I happily took the chop, and walked away with 260 for my efforts and my FIRST EVER LIVE TOURNAMENT CASH! Certainly not anything to write home about, but at least something to blog about.

Hopefully this is a sign that my luck is changing. Between the home game last night & the 2nd place (if it's an even chop but I'm 2nd in chips, I can't claim 1st place, right?), I feel more confident about my poker game. I know it's only two games, but sometimes, I just need some results for reinforcement. Unfortunately, I'm still not ready to make the jump back into online play considering my employment status. However, I should be hearing back from a company in the next few days; perhaps then I'll know whether or not my luck has truly changed.

Stay tuned....

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Last Gasp

Warning: Fantasy Football Content ahead.

In the blogger league this week, I made my last attempt at shoring up my WR corp, trading Joseph Addai for Braylon Edwards. I threw in Steve Breaston to ease the other guy's concerns about not having another WR for his lineup this week.

I hated making this trade on so many levels. One, I trade my 1st round pick for an inconsistent WR. Two, my new best WR has essentially a rookie QB throwing to him. But in the end, I had to make this trade for the following reasons.

1. I can only start two RBs, and with T. Jones, Parker, Addai, Dunn & M. Moore, I had to trade a RB to get another WR.

2. Of my three top RBs, Addai has been the least productive. All three have fairly comparable schedules. Addai has the best playoff schedule, but I need to worry about getting there first, so he was the one to go.

3. My WRs before the trade were Holmes, soon to be suspended Matt Jones, Breaston, B. Lloyd and Ginn. So yeah, I needed another WR.

4. Friday was the trade deadline, and there were few trade options. Two owners are already done with the season, and of the rest, I saw few owners who could use Addai and have a WR to trade. I might have lost value giving up Addai and Breaston for Edwards, but realistically, I was desperate and there weren't many possibilities to trade.

In my $100 league, I had an unexpected win, especially with my QB (Schaub) getting hammered against Minn. But, thanks to the leg of David Akers & another awesome showing by the NYG's defense, I sit atop the league in first place....with four other teams. A fucking 5-way tie for first place, although I have the best tiebreakers with the most points + a victory against 3 of the other 4 teams.

This week will be tough. I play the "2nd place" team having to rely on Joe Flacco as my QB (in both leagues, actually) as my other two QBs (Romo & Schaub) are unavailable. I like the matchup against Houston but still, it's a Baltimore QB. I'm not feeling very confident about it.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Drunk Bloggers Unite

The girlfriend and I hosted a Halloween party this past Friday. Tried to recruit most of the Seattle area bloggers. The Chako's had valid reasons for their absence, and Zeem's sudden illness prevented his appearance. Cayne was gracious enough to bless us all with his presence, and his supply of Jager more than made up for Joshua's cancellation. But MHG, where were you? Boo, I say, BOO!

I'll leave Cayne to post any pictures of him at his discretion, but here's some non-Cayne pictures to hold all my readers over during my poker hiatus. My costume this year was Gay Darth Vader, born out of:

1. The lack of resources to go as Dwight Schrute
2. A desire to be a Star Wars character
3. Some random idea I got at the costume store

Anyway, here's some pics. Enjoy.





Speaking of drunk bloggers uniting, I can confirm that my bi-annual absence at the Vegas blogger gathering will continue this go around. The same old refrain applies; no job, no money, no Vegas. I'll have to live vicariously again through all the trip recaps.