Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Goals Recap

I'm in Corona, CA right now, staying at my girlfriend's sister's place, with the sounds of a crying newborn flickering on and off. 12:18am is still much too early for me to fall asleep. If I was home, I'd probably be in a SNG right now; alas, I'll devote this time to cranking out some posts on a borrowed laptop.

At the beginning of the year, I set myself 5 poker-oriented goals. Some of them I crushed, others I failed at miserably. Nevertheless, it was an exciting year of poker for me, highlighted by:

1. The month of May. I final tabled 3 MTTs within a week or two, adding over $3k to my bankroll almost instantaneously. Although I still never exceeded my single biggest cash ever, the sum of the scores was certainly very close.

2. My first live cash ever. Although it was a chop at a very small MTT, it was certainly a boost to get this monkey off my back.

3. My foray into online cash games. Although this wasn't quite the success I hoped it would be, it was fun while it lasted.

Of course, the year wasn't always full of sunshine and puppies; I had my share of low points too:

1. Self-destruction over the summer. I lost nearly $1500 in a week, due to a combination of tilt, inadequate focus, poor bankroll management, too much gamble, and playing out of my comfort zone. Prior to this, the results suggested I was crushing the tables, but this streak did more than humble me, it severely wrecked my confidence for many months afterwards.

2. Yet another hiatus. Had I been able to find a job as soon as I hoped, perhaps I wouldn't have needed to withdraw my entire bankroll.

3. A failure to improve. I'll explore this statement to greater length in a separate post.

Anyways, like I said, I had 5 goals for 2008. Although most of these are probably better graded in a Pass\Fail format, I think there's some merit in grading them on more of a sliding scale.

1. Build my bankroll to $2k by November. Mission accomplished in May, thanks to that string of final tables. Original expectation was to grind it out to $2k but one fell swoop works as well. Maintaining that bankroll was something else, and beyond that, learning to play with a bankroll of that size while living with several financial burdens. The letter of the goal was accomplished, but not necessarily the intent. Grade: B+

2. Win a Mookie. Done and done, my sole victory coming just before the BBT3 kickoff. Part skill, part final table cardrack (back to back AA for huge pots? Come on!). Doesn't matter, a win is a win is a win. Bonus points for outlasting LJ at the final table. Grade: A+

3. Read all of my poker books. Epic Fail. I breathed on HOH2 a couple times but hardly more than that. At least I didn't spend any money this year adding more to the collection. Grade: F

4. Win a MTT of 300 or more people. This one hurts. Two of my FTs this year qualified, maybe all three. The money sure was nice, but it still stings to get that close yet not finish it off. I'll award myself a bit of a lenient grade for getting so close, but ultimately, a goal like this is measured in victories, not cashes or runner-ups. Grade: C

5. Become a more visible blogger. Kind of a hard goal to measure without defining "visible". Although it seems that more people are aware of me than I think do, I've felt like a D-list blogger, sort of like Kathy Griffin only not nearly as annoying or plastic. I guess I was looking to see some of the relationships I've developed through this blog grow a bit more, but that only happens when effort is put forth, and just putting a bunch of blogs on your Google Reader isn't really effort. So, although I know more of you and maintain some form of correspondence with a handful of bloggers fairly regularly, I can't give myself a fair grade on this blog unless I know exactly what it is I'm expecting when I set a goal like this. Grade: Incomplete.

I'll return before the new year with some goals for 2009. Hopefully you've all enjoyed whatever holidays you may be celebrating this time of year. See you again soon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm In

I got my 3.5 mile run in with enough time to come home for the PLO8 game of the PokerStars Blogger thingamajig (wow, that word didn't get underlined for spellcheck, weird). I played UBER tight for the first couple levels or so, mostly out of necessity since I had nothing to work with. The most I had were a couple AX hands but I would've been OOP with only average draws.

Finally, I picked up an AA2x sooted hand in decent position, only to get two callers to my raise. Flop was an ugly KQT with one of my suit. I check-called, got a low card of the right suit, and shoved. Ended up against AQQx but nailed my flush on the river to double up.

There's a reason why I gave this blog the title I did.

Got moved to a table with DubsPoke and F-Train. Wavered back and forth with a couple decent drawing hands OOP, then got a decent rush and was about to scoop a couple pots against Dubs. That put me around the 12k mark, good for mid teens, and I basically hovered there for most of the night. A table change put me directly to the right of a loose, aggressive, completely donkish chipleader, who not only played but raised nearly every hand PF, regardless of position. I picked up a small pot off of her to keep my stack decent, but more or less I was on autofold for about an hour.

I went out somewhere in the 40's when I hit trips from the BB in a limped pot. I thought I was clever with my CRAI but instead I was up against trips with a better kicker. Yay me.

Anyways, finishing where I did was really important as it meant I picked up a Step 2 ticket. I probably won't be able to play in the final as I'll be in California visiting friends. Finishing less than 45th would have been a bigger waste of time. Instead, I get the Step 2 ticket for a chance to add to my PS bankroll.

Good luck to all the finalists on Sunday. I'll try to be there but probably won't. Enjoy the chips!

Evy Ain't No Ordinary Ho

I joined over 500 other blogger donks yesterday for the PokerStars Blogger Championship Cup Series For Bloggers or whatever it's called. Ended up going out somewhere in the 400s when QQ < AA. Came back later to see a couple bloggers that I recognized still hanging around at the final two tables. I tried to rail them as long as I could but my rail support was sidetracked by this guy's avatar image and I had to start cheering him on. I know, I know, bro's before ho's, but you have to understand, right? I mean, it's Evangeline Lilly:

Sorry guys, I have a weakness for her.

Anyways, congrats to Mojo for making the final table. I really want to play the event tonight, PLO8, but might have to miss it in favor of running 3-4 miles. Maybe if I get my lazy ass out of here soon I can be back in time.

Otherwise, not much news to report. Pokerstars bankroll keeps fluctuating up and down. I keep taking shots at the $2 20-table games but can't fend off the the donkeys runner-runnering my ass after limp-calling preflop shoves with KJ. Argh.

Monday, December 15, 2008

WPBT Weekend Recap

As I imagine most of you know, this weekend was the WPBT gathering in Vegas. This post is not my recap of what happened there since I didn't go. But I don't see any reason why I can't do a recap of what happened to me this past weekend either.

First, fantasy football recap. I'll make it short & sweet.

Fuck fantasy football.

I lost in Skidoo's league, which I pretty much expected when two of my starting WRs were pickups from the waiver wire. Despite being the 2nd seed, I still ended up against the leading scorer in the league, and he dismantled me accordingly. I've still got a shot at 3rd place money, so we'll see how that goes. Good luck to MHG this upcoming weekend as he battles Memphis Mojo for the title.

In my other league, I think I need to win out to cash. My trade of Westbrook for Boldin completely backfired. I traded Westbrook because he was playing hurt and had an unfavorable schedule for the majority of the last 5 games. Boldin was playing amazing, putting up RB like numbers each week. Since the trade, Boldin hasn't given me a single week with double digit numbers. Westbrook, OTOH, put up back to back 30pt weeks. Call me crazy for trading a top RB while I was still sitting at the top, but I saw a chance to separate myself from the pack so I pulled the trigger. Well, looks like I separated myself alright, just not in the direction I wanted to go.

More importantly, since this is a poker blog, poker news!

1. I missed the PokerStars Blogger game today. Wanted to play too, since it was PLO. Alas, I couldn't wake up in time to make the 11am start time. Tomorrow's game starts at 4pm my time so I can probably swing that one.

2. Speaking of PokerStars...I'm hesitant to make a formal declaration since I don't know how long it will last, but as of today, I am back to playing online! My original intent was, as a Christmas gift to myself, to play another tournament at the local card room where I cashed last time. However, when I was checking out the Blogger game, I noticed in the cashier that the minimum to deposit via check was $25. The live game was $30, not to mention maybe another $20-$40 while I waited at the Pai Gow table. Being on such a limited income right now, the choice was easy.

Anyways, I'm not ready to declare my return, as my bankroll was up then nearly almost gone until I took down a two-table SNG to bring me almost back to even. If I can wade through this field of donkeys I'm up against right now (currently 9 of 78 in a $4 20-table game) then I'll feel a bit better.

3. Finally, the girlfriend and I celebrated our Christmas on Saturday night since we'll be in California with her family on the actual date. I woke up from a nap that afternoon to find a huge present near the tree (so big it was wrapped in a bed sheet). When we finally open gifts, I unraveled the sheet to find...a brand new, folding, 10-person poker table!

I already had a table, but it was one of those piece of shit octagonal table top ones, good enough in a pinch but quickly falling apart and becoming useless, so much so that I didn't even host a single game this year because I didn't want to play on it. Now that I have a table I'm not ashamed of, I can start inviting people over to give me their money again!

So MHG, Joshua, Cayne (if you're still alive), Zeem, Mr. & Mrs. Chako, and anyone else in the Seattle area (maybe even some of you BC folk one day?), consider yourself on notice: I'll be sending out an invite for a home game at humble little apartment sometime in the near future.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Meeting December's Quota

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This PokerStars tournament is a No Limit Texas Hold’em event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 859789

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Good Bye

Warning: Fantasy Football Content Only

I took care of business this week in Skidoo's blogger league, putting my opponent out of the postseason as well, thanks primarily to another huge effort by Thomas Jones. When I acquired him from Skidoo a couple weeks back, I did so primarily just for that week. I was in desperation mode, needing a victory badly that week, and he had a great matchup against KC. After that, I was going to try to flip him for another WR and go the rest of the way with Addai & Parker. Good thing I held on to him; almost single-handedly he's led me to a 5-game win streak and into the playoffs. But my luck didn't end there.

It was looking like I was going to finish somewhere around 3rd-5th seed with Schaubs and MHG getting a bye next week. Schaubs was clinging to a slight lead against NumbBono, who abandoned his team before the season. However, Bono's default lineup had an outside chance to win this week, needing Andre Johnson to outscore Jacksonville's defense by 12 points or more.

It started off well for me as AJ brought in a TD in the 1st quarter and nearly had 12 points by halftime. Jacksonville's defense wasn't doing much other than one INT, and a NumbBono victory was looking like a possibility. However, by the 4th quarter, Houston focused on running the ball and kicking FGs, which meant no points for AJ but not enough Houston points to put Jax's D in the negative.

Then, along came Steve Slaton, who took off for a 40 yard TD late in the 4th to give Houston 27 points, good enough for -1 point. Add that one INT and they were worth only 1 point in our FF league. AJ finished with 75 yards and a TD, good enough for 13. NumbBono snuck away with a victory, dropping Schaubs into a tie for 2nd place with me and Easycure. However, I had the most points for the season thus far, a mere 10 more than Easycure, giving me the tiebreaker for 2nd place and, more importantly, a bye going into the playoffs. This is HUGE because I was not looking forward to playing this week with Romo vs PITT, Dunn vs CAR, my other two RBs now part of a platoon (Parker & M. Moore) and a shoddy WR corp of Holmes, Ginn, and Mark fucking Bradley, none of whom have steller matchups this week either. Instead, I get to relax this week and wait for my next opponent. From there it's one more victory until the money. Hopefully I've still got a little more luck left.

In my other league, which also features Romo & T. Jones, the Westbrook for Boldin trade looked like it backfired, with Westbrook going for nearly 40 points, while Boldin fumbled twice & finished with less than 2. Nevertheless, Romo & Jones were enough to secure a victory against one of the worst teams in the league. I don't regret the trade, since Westbrook has a tough schedule the rest of the way compared to Boldin, and as far as 2nd RBs, I also have the emerging Peyton Hills to use if needed. This week is another week against a worse opponent, then it's the finale of three straight weeks against top teams. I've got enough depth to take this thing down, I just have to make sure I make the right lineup choices.

Good luck to anyone else playing Fantasy Football this year. Hopefully I can cash in one of these things, put the money into Full Tilt, and turn this blog back into a poker blog.