Tuesday, January 31, 2006

January Top 15

Public for the first time ever.

15. Johnny Cash - No Expectations
14. Thomas Newman - Plastic Bag Theme
13. Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
12. Bob Dylan - Song For Woody
11. Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone

10. Van Morrison - Tupelo Honey
9. Death Cab For Cutie - Crooked Teeth
8. The Church - Under the Milky Way Tonight
7. Oasis - Guess God Thinks I'm Abel
6. Jet - Come Around Again

5. Neil Young - Walk On
4. Badly Drawn Boy - Golden Days
3. Electric Light Orchestra - Calling America
2. Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body
Song of the Month: AC/DC - It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)

Monday, January 30, 2006


I was talking to my friend Jamal today about how much poker I played in college. I told him that during my last semester, poker was #5 on the totem pole behind my friends, my girlfriend, academics, and frisbee. Later I realized that this summer in Vegas, where I lost two thirds of my bankroll, poker was pretty much all I did or thought about. Only after going home, taking a break from poker, and playing endless hours of frisbee golf, was I able to return to dominance.

This month I have logged more hours of online poker than ever before. It has also been the only month I have lost except for June 2005. Every day I wake up determined to win back the money I lost the night before, and the cycle has repeated itself. Poker has been the clear #1 priority this month and that just doesn't seem to work for me.

A few minutes ago the Wolf asked me when was the last time I had fun playing poker. I hesitated...and failed to come up with an answer. I don't know that I've had fun playing poker during the last two months. Somewhere along the line I convinced myself I needed to play a ton of hours and "grind" out a ton of money so I could hit the tournament circuit hard this spring. I lost sight of the real key to poker and to life which is having fun.

So now it's time to get back to real life and re-evaluating my priorities, which should go something like this:

1. Friends
2. Girlfriend
3. Sleep
3. Frisbee Golf
4. Ping Pong
5. Beer Pong
6. Rock and Roll
7. The Colorado Buffaloes mens basketball team
8. Avocados
9. Keira Knightley
10. Getting the brakes on my car looked at
11. Poker
12. Making sure the blankets are on the couches so Walker doesn't get pissed off


Today: 0

Year to date: -10674

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I Can't Win

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm trying so hard (maybe that's it, trying too hard?) Today I felt like I played pretty well and wasn't super unlucky, got lucky in couple pots, and yet I ended the session with another loss. I don't know where the money is going. I'm really mystified as to why I continue to lose. I'm going to post a few hands from today and I'd appreciate feedback from anyone.

Dealt to APotIsAPot [ 6c, 6h ]
JackWould calls (20)
NMDynasty folds.
KriyaYoga folds.
clarkkent folds.
Razor_Edge calls (20)
APotIsAPot calls (20)
Ganyard16 folds.
Counterspell folds.
nycsnake raises (65) to 75
svartman folds.
JackWould calls (55)
Razor_Edge calls (55)
APotIsAPot calls (55)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 6s, Qc, 9h ]
nycsnake checks.
JackWould checks.
Razor_Edge checks.
APotIsAPot bets (200)
nycsnake folds.
JackWould calls (200)
Razor_Edge folds.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 5h ]
JackWould checks.
APotIsAPot bets (358)
JackWould raises (958) to 958
APotIsAPot raises (1367) to 1725
APotIsAPot is all-In.
JackWould calls (767)
** Dealing River ** : [ Jh ]
Creating Main Pot with $4167 with APotIsAPot
** Summary **
Main Pot: $4167
APotIsAPot balance $0, lost $2000 [ 6c 6h ] [ three of a kind, sixes -- Qc,Jh,6c,6h,6s ]JackWould balance $4254, bet $2000, collected $4167, net +$2167 [ 9s 9c ] [ three of a kind, nines -- Qc,Jh,9s,9c,9h ]

Dealt to APotIsAPot [ Ah, Kh ]
APotIsAPot raises (55) to 55
robert07 folds.
lemchil folds.
mkim2003 calls (55)
slothr0p folds.
EsurientOne calls (55)
Borntarun folds.
FandorinXIX folds.
Traelen folds.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Qc, 7h, 8h ]
APotIsAPot bets (127)
mkim2003 raises (254) to 254
EsurientOne folds.
APotIsAPot raises (973) to 1100
mkim2003 calls (831)
mkim2003 is all-In.**
Dealing Turn ** : [ Qd ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 4d ]
Creating Main Pot with $2362 with mkim2003
** Summary **
Main Pot: $2362
mkim2003 balance $2362, bet $1140, collected $2362, net +$1222 [ 2h Qh ]

Dealt to APotIsAPot [ 8s, 9d ]
EsurientOne folds.
equityhound raises (65) to 65
MBDreamin calls (55)
APotIsAPot calls (45)
** Dealing Flop ** :
[ 8d, 5h, 2d ]
MBDreamin checks.
APotIsAPot checks.
equityhound bets (150)
MBDreamin folds.
APotIsAPot calls (150)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Qd ]
APotIsAPot checks.
equityhound checks.
** Dealing River ** : [ 9s ]
APotIsAPot bets (256)
equityhound calls (256)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $1005
equityhound balance $1946, bet $471, collected $1005, net +$534 [ Qc Qh ] [ three of a kind, queens -- Qc,Qh,Qd,9s,8d ]

Dealt to APotIsAPot [ Js, Ks ]
APotIsAPot raises (60) to 60
snack_attack folds.
thirdgrader folds.
EsurientOne folds.
equityhound folds.
MBDreamin folds.
GreatWent calls (50)
svartman calls (40)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 2h, 3s, 6c ]
GreatWent checks.svartman checks.
APotIsAPot bets (150)
GreatWent folds.
svartman raises (300) to 300
APotIsAPot folds.

Dealt to APotIsAPot [ 5h, Jh ]
thirdgrader folds.
B1GDAD1 checks.
EsurientOne folds.
equityhound folds.
MBDreamin calls (20)
GreatWent folds.
svartman folds.
APotIsAPot calls (10)
snack_attack checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ As, 5d, 5s ]
APotIsAPot bets (45)
snack_attack folds.
B1GDAD1 folds.
MBDreamin calls (45)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Qc ]
APotIsAPot bets (125)
MBDreamin calls (125)
** Dealing River ** : [ 6d ]
APotIsAPot bets (325)
MBDreamin folds.

Dealt to APotIsAPot [ Th, 8c ]
B1GDAD1 calls (20)
EsurientOne folds.
equityhound folds.
MBDreamin folds.
GreatWent folds.
svartman folds.
APotIsAPot calls (20)
snack_attack calls (10)
thirdgrader checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Js, 9h, 6c ]
snack_attack checks.
thirdgrader checks.
B1GDAD1 bets (60)
APotIsAPot calls (60)
snack_attack folds.
thirdgrader folds.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 6h ]
B1GDAD1 checks.
APotIsAPot bets (125)
B1GDAD1 calls (125)
** Dealing River ** : [ 7d ]
B1GDAD1 checks.
APotIsAPot bets (275)
B1GDAD1 folds.


Saturday: -349
Today: -3133

Year to date: -10674

Saturday, January 28, 2006


I don't really have a lot to say other than

  • I'm consistently losing
  • I have no confidence and expect to lose when I play
  • The 2k games on Party have gotten tough as nails and I feel like there are now as many as a dozen players who are better than me
  • I've been taking a truly ridiculous number of bad beats
  • I'm afraid to put money into a pot, whether I'm bluffing, have a marginal hand, have a great hand, or have the nuts
  • I'm concerned I'm about to become a cautionary tale
  • I hate poker and I don't feel much better about life in general
  • My brain seems to be functioning at about 60%
  • I want to hibernate
  • I need some cheese to go with this whine


Wednesday night: +2611

Thursday afternoon: -8043

Thursday night: -1933

Today: -485 (tournaments)

Year to date: -7192

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Bit of Controversy

The "Ranking the Rounders" piece has generated quite a bit of interest and debate amongst the 2k regulars, thanks to gossip queen Jason Strasser spreading the thing around like wind spreads a wildfire. Well, I'm glad it's being discussed, and glad people have a lot to say about it. I hope they keep talking about it and post comments on this blog. A few notes on the rankings:

1) There is zero data backing up any of the rankings.
2) The rankings are based almost 100% on my personal opinions.
3) The rankings, especially the lower section of the "good" players, were thrown together rather hastily.
4) Many players, even those who play quite a bit, were forgotten.
5) Some of the players listed in the "bad" may actually be winning players; I really have no idea. Some of the "good" players may actually be losing players.

Here is a link to the 2+2 forum Strasser started regarding the list:


Today: +2679

Year to date: +658

Monday, January 23, 2006

Best and Worst Hands of the Week


Dealt to GnightMoon [ Ad, 9d ]
hanzl85 raises (60) to 60
mccsyd folds.
GnightMoon calls (60)
ZZmile folds.
JackWould folds.
amexos folds.
mortalfrog folds.
sacar folds.
hotmark777 folds.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Qs, 4d, Jd ]
hanzl85 bets (125)
GnightMoon calls (125)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Th ]
hanzl85 bets (250)
GnightMoon calls (250)
** Dealing River ** : [ 8h ]
hanzl85 checks.
GnightMoon bets (1575)
GnightMoon is all-In.
hanzl85 calls (1192)
hanzl85 is all-In.
hanzl85 balance $3281, bet $1627, collected $3281, net +$1654 [ Kd Ac ] [ a straight, ten to ace -- Ac,Kd,Qs,Jd,Th ]

So few players would have the courage to check that river. I give him full credit for doing so. If he had bet big, I don't know that I would have called.


Dealt to GnightMoon [ 8c, 8h ]
hotmark777 folds.
hanzl85 folds.
sala_kutta raises (100) to 100
CyberTheft folds.
keeper00 calls (100)
Renovarti folds.
GnightMoon calls (90)
CalmDuck folds.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 7c, Qh, 8s ]
GnightMoon checks.
sala_kutta bets (375)
keeper00 folds.
GnightMoon raises (800) to 800
sala_kutta raises (850) to 1225
GnightMoon raises (1777) to 2577
GnightMoon is all-In.
sala_kutta calls (1352)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 8d ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 2d ]
Creating Main Pot with $5471 with GnightMoon
** Summary **
Main Pot: $5471
sala_kutta balance $1089.24, lost $2677 [ 9h 2c ] [ two pairs, eights and twos -- Qh,8s,8d,2c,2d ]
GnightMoon balance $5471, bet $2677, collected $5471, net +$2794 [ 8c 8h ] [ four of a kind, eights -- Qh,8c,8h,8s,8d ]

Unfortunately for me Paul was playing as GnightMoon at the time.


Tonight: +2531
Year to date: -2021

A Candid Interview With GnightMoon

Since it doesn't look like Cardplayer, Courtney Friel, or Norman Chad will be interviewing GnightMoon anytime soon, I decided to do so myself. Here is the transcript from a discussion we had recently while watching the Panthers choke one to the Seahawks.

Thomas Fuller: Is it true you lost a 77,000 chip pot that you were a 91.4% favorite to win in the 10k WPT event in Tunica this last week, when the average stack was 26,000?

GnightMoon: That’s false. The pot was only about 74,000.

TF: So you’ve been running pretty bad lately. Would you say this is the worst run of cards you’ve ever had?

GM: Hmm. That’s hard to say. It was pretty horrendous during the WSOP this past summer. I think this is worse though – it seems like I am playing better now but still losing. I’d say this has been more frustrating and less devastating.

TF: Is it particularly frustrating to be struggling when a lot of your friends, players you have mentored yourself, such as Paul Wasicka, Ben Greenberg, Jamal Malik, and Joel Patchell, are doing so well?

GM: Frustrating is the wrong word. Humbling would be more accurate. For a long time I felt like I was clearly the best player I knew, head and shoulders above anyone else. Now I really question that, and wonder if I might only be the 4th or 5th best. Sometimes I wonder if I was just lucky for a long period of time, and things are evening out now. I don’t know. Certainly two of the things that made me so good, my confidence and my bankroll, have diminished.

TF: So you’re not playing all that well these days.

GM: No. I think I’m playing very well. My online cash game has sprung a few leaks, but I think I recognize them and I should be better than ever when I get back to playing the online cash tables. My tournament game is better than ever, there’s no question about it. I’ve learned how to hold onto my chips, and I’ve learned how important patience is for my style. I’ve also really learned how to handle different players – and this applies to cash games too. What to do against a good aggressive player, what to do against a bad aggressive player, etc. What hands to play against which players, and how to play them – it’s all stuff that was in the back of my mind and now it’s in the front.

GM: I’ve also learned how to change gears. This is a topic people always talk about without really knowing what it means. What it really means is to understand how your table is playing, and how they perceive you to be playing. There is a time to play tight, there is a time to play aggressively, there is a time to play passively and play small pots, there is a time to play wild and raise and reraise, etc. I’m really starting to switch it up based on the table. At Bellagio during the first day I was playing so aggressively one of the players called me an “animal.” At Tunica the other day I was either the tightest or 2nd tightest player at the table. Both times the situation called for it.

TF: Would you say you are a “world-class” player?

GM: I’m getting there. I really am. I wouldn’t quite say world-class yet. But I’ve played with guys like Steve Dannenmann, Tex Barch, Amir Vahedi, Chip Jett. I’m not seeing anything from these guys that I don’t have. I think I’m on par with them. Maybe even better. The one thing I need to keep working on is fearlessness.

TF: So how much did you drop total for the Tunica trip?

GM: Well, let’s see. The flights cost a total of $598, the speeding ticket from on the way to the airport is gonna cost $130 plus a crapload in higher insurance-

TF: Wait a second. Speeding ticket? Isn’t there a Skyride park and ride less than 5 minutes from your house?

GM: Yes.
(Awkward pause; Moon looks off into space).

GM: Anyways, the hotel room was around $160, the tournament was $10,200, then the $2070 at the Grand, the $200 at the Grand, and a $5123 loss online Friday night playing in the Grand lobby. You tell me, what does that add up to?

TF: Let’s talk sports. Why did you throw the Broncos under the bus last week? How about loyalty?

GM: It’s simple. To me the Broncos lie below truth and sports. I value those two things more highly than I do the Broncos. The truth was the Steelers were a far superior team, and I recognized that.

TF: I hear you’re on a nice run with your football picks this year. Tell me about that.

GM: Well I’ve never made a sports bet for a lot of money in my life. Week 12 this year I decided to start picking every game and see how I did. I wound up 48-42-4, and 8-2 in the playoffs.

TF: Wow, pretty impressive. Are you ever going to bet for real?

GM: Maybe next season. If so I’ll probably wait till halfway into the season before betting. Oh, and I might bet ten thousand on the Super Bowl.

TF: Are you serious?

GM: If it’s Steelers -5 or better, I don’t think I can pass it up.

TF: Is it true you might be changing your screen name on Party Poker?

GM: Well, obviously I would never change it. But The Creator might.

TF: That’s right. I’m considering the following names, and would appreciate feedback as to which one’s the best:



Today: +4171

Year to date: -4552

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Playoff Picks

Just so this is published before the games go down:

Pittsburgh 31, Denver 17
Carolina 21, Seattle 20


Last night: -5123

Year to date: -8723

Friday, January 20, 2006


I'm coming home tomorrow.

I played the nightly $200 at the Grand and lost a 60x BB pot with TT against J9s all-in before the flop. Not only was I expecting to lose the hand but I could feel a large part of me actually wanting to lose so I could indulge in self-pity. As I walked away from the table I felt the same sort of feelings I felt in Vegas last summer so I decided it would be in my best interest to get the hell out of here before it's too late.


Tonight: -200
Year to date: -3600

Mississippi Misery

Tunica is a bad place to be. There is nothing to do but gamble. The Gold Strike where I am staying has no internet. (This is coming from the lobby of the Grand).

Today I played the 2k shorthanded event at the Grand. I played a lot of interesting hands but don't really feel like talking about them. When I had the best hand I won a lot of chips and when I didn't I lost a lot of chips. Mark "maniac" Seif took me out with AJ in the SB against my AT.

Gamblegambel aka Joel busted out quickly yesterday and he is now on his way back to Atlanta. I'm trying to decide if I am going to stay here for the 10k WSOP Circuit event at the Grand or just go home. I will probably play the 1k NLHE tomorrow at the Grand and see how I feel after that.


Yesterday: -10,200
Today: -2080

Year to date: -3400

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Horror

Hey Guys, Wolf here - Just spoke with Moon on the phone and he asked me to update you all on his Tunica Trip.

Long story short... He played awesome all day - no siphoning, no donking, straight up solid mistake free poker. He was poised for a deep run when this hand came up...

Moon calls an aggro players raise preflop with the 9sTs. The flop comes 992 rainbow. The aggro fires out 5k, Moon raises to 10k, and the maniac instantly makes it 25k. Moon pushes in the rest of his chips and they flip over their hands. The other guy shows QQ and Moon is in great shape to double up and have a chip stack of 77k - which at that time would have been 2nd in chips of the whole tourney. Turn x. River Q.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ranking the Rounders

Most people who read this blog will not care at all about this topic, but I think a few may have great interest or opinions of their own. If you do have an opinion, please post a comment.

Here is my ranking of the regular players on the Party Poker $2000 buy-in tables. I tried to remember as many as I could.

The good:

1. samoleus - most dangerous
2. Razor_Edge - most aggressive, best record against GnightMoon
3. sl0throp - probably most money won in last six months
4. GnightMoon
5. gcnmoo - best at getting away from hands
6. queenkris - probably biggest bankroll
7. ggbman - biggest bludgeoner
8. reefaadict - most preflop raises
9. B_Budddy
10. Paul_Smenis
11. nestegg1 - tightest after the flop
12. gamblegambel
13. thorladen - best shorthanded?
13. FinalTheory
14. StuDaKid - most one-dimensional
15. ZZmile
16. Phallusy
17. captZeebo
18. NMDynasty
19. ybaBLPstahT
20. litlebastrd
21. pit540540 (most improved)
22. CB_22
23. BadVoodoo
24. hotmark777 - most stubborn, most macho
25. GREGnizzle
26. xtraspnding - easiest read
27. smallstakes
28. DC10Ball4_20 - most aggressive
29. Draped_Up
30. JackWould
31. pokerpoet
32. munee4nuthun
33. shyamr7
34. Hubris12
35. OrvarKalle

The worst:

18. fslexcduck
17. SonikBoooom
16. finchdog
15. Sylvst_Tweet
14. lastochka777
13. Rbhk7cn4s
12. RYAN38411
11. sacar
10. babygr1251
9. donutboy18
8. nateball
6. nycsnake
5. will719
3. willc69
2. kingace228


Today: +1866

Year to date: +8880

Locked and Loaded

The plane ticket has been purchased. The hotel room has been reserved. The money has been wired. The NFL has admitted an officiating mistake on the Troy Polamalu interception, easing my mind at least somewhat. And I got back on track today with a nice session. I am very excited about the next two weeks. It doesn't get much better than playing three championship events in two weeks.

I never put my money in as anything but a huge favorite and things went my way tonight in the cash games. I also played Super Monday on Party. I had amassed a decent stack and we were in the money when I sucked out with 99 against KK for a monster pot. This seemed to be the hand that would allow me to cruise to the final table and make a run at a nice score. However I then lost 99 against 66 for a 17k pot, TT against AKs for a 21k pot, and AQ against JJ for a 14k pot to finish me off.


Today: +7964
Overall: +7014

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Game of Superlatives

Everything I am about to say concerning the Pittsburgh/Indy playoff game today is the truth. None of it is an exaggeration, although some of it may be opinionated.
  • It was the most exciting (but not the best) NFL game I have ever seen, and the most exciting football game since Ohio State beat Miami for the national championship a few years back.
  • The Jerome Bettis fumble and subsequent return was the most exciting, and most sickening, single play I have ever seen in a football game. It was also the most untimely mistake since Bill Buckner.
  • Vanderjagt's missed field goal was one of the biggest one-man choke jobs in sports history, when one considers he is the NFL's all-time leader in field goal accuracy.
  • Peyton Manning should be considered one of the biggest "non-clutch" players in sports history, if such a thing as "clutch" exists (this is a whole side topic that I will discuss at length one day in this blog, or any time you want in person).
  • Ben Roethlisberger is more valuable to his team than any other player in the NFL (I have maintained this all season long).
  • The Steelers completely dominated this game. The Steelers were clearly the better team today.
  • The uncalled pass interference penalty on the Colts in the first half was a travesty.
  • The call made late in the game overturning Troy Polamalu's interception was the worst officiating call in sports history. Again, I am not exaggerating. I am deeply concerned about a conspiracy to overturn the call.
  • The Steelers are the best team in the NFL. They will easily beat the Broncos next week and then win the Super Bowl two weeks later.


Today: -925 (tournaments)

Year to date: -950

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mission 20k aborted/WHOTW/The Worst Beat of My Life/Nausea

Just the facts:

Mission 20k was a resounding failure; however I will be going to Tunica and Atlantic City anyways.


Dealt to GnightMoon [ 7h, 7s ]
VuaPoker1 calls (20)
FiReNfEaR calls (20)
kengo_HW folds.
munee4nuthun folds.
LadyPoker42 folds.
NMcNasty folds.
GnightMoon calls (20)
Counterspell calls (20)
PolishGreat calls (10)
bonafide888 checks.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 7d, Tc, 3d ]
PolishGreat checks.
bonafide888 bets (85)
VuaPoker1 calls (85)
FiReNfEaR raises (215) to 215
GnightMoon raises (800) to 800
Counterspell folds.
PolishGreat folds.
bonafide888 folds.
VuaPoker1 folds.
FiReNfEaR raises (1680) to 1895
FiReNfEaR is all-In.
VuaPoker1: flush draw
GnightMoon calls (1095)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Qd ]
** Dealing River ** : [ Td ]
Creating Main Pot with $4077 with FiReNfEaR
** Summary **
Main Pot: $4077
Board: [ 7d Tc 3d Qd Td ]
FiReNfEaR balance $4077, bet $1915, collected $4077, net +$2162 [ Qs Ts ] [ a full house, Tens full of queens -- Qs,Qd,Ts,Tc,Td ]
GnightMoon balance $55, lost $1915 [ 7h 7s ] [ a full house, Sevens full of tens -- Tc,Td,7h,7s,7d ]


Last night: -3866
Today: -6233
Year to date: -25

Friday, January 13, 2006

Broncos vs. Patriots

As I've gotten older I've come to analyze issues more scientifically. So I will just present a number of facts as to why the Broncos should beat the Patriots tomorrow.
  • The Broncos won the AFC West, a strong division, with a 13-3 record. The Patriots won the AFC East, easily the weakest division in the AFC, with a 10-6 record.
  • The Broncos beat the Patriots 28-20 Week 6 in Mile High after jumping out to a 28-3 lead in the third quarter
  • The Broncos scored 395 points during the regular season; the Patriots scored 379
  • The Broncos gave up 258 points this season; the Patriots gave up 338
  • The Broncos averaged 360 yards per game while giving up an average of 313. The Patriots averaged 352 yards per game while giving up an average of 330.
  • The Broncos averaged 159 yards rushing per game. The Patriots averaged 94.
  • The Broncos gave up an average of 85 yards rushing per game. The Patriots gave up an average of 99.
  • The Broncos second leading rusher, Tatum Bell, ran for 921 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. The Patriots leading rusher, Corey Dillon, ran for 733 yards and averaged 3.5 yards per carry.
  • Bell ran for 114 yards on just 13 carries in the teams' first meeting. In that game the Patriots leading rusher was Patrick Pass with 74 yards.
  • While Tom Brady passed for 744 more yards and tossed 8 more touchdowns than Jake Plummer, they were very close in terms of efficiency. Brady completed 63% of his passes this year, while Plummer completed 61%. Brady averaged 7.6 yards per pass while Plummer averaged 7.4.
  • The Broncos went 3-1 against playoff teams. The Patriots went 2-3.
  • The Patriots lost to the San Diego Chargers aka "the best team ever to have missed the playoffs" at home by 24 points in their only meeting. The Broncos swept the Chargers.
  • The Broncos just had a bye week to prepare for the Patriots.
  • The Patriots went 6-9-1 against the spread this season. The Broncos went 11-4-1.
  • The Broncos went 8-0 at Mile High this season; the Patriots went 5-3 on the road.


I won a $4300 pot I had a 4.3% chance of winning, and a $4200 pot I had a 64.4% chance of winning. Without either of those today would be a losing session.

Today: +3757

Year to date: +10074


Tonight: -8660
Year to date: +6317

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Pleasant Grind

Today seemed to be Take Your Professional to Work Day on Party Poker. A weekday afternoon is usually a bad time to play if you want to make money and today was especially light in terms of fish food. For a 1400 hand session, there were very few big interesting pots. I played quite solid, busting one of the few fish with JJ against his AQ on a QJx flop and losing a $3300 pot with KcTc against A9 on a Ac9c4 flop. My one "Mike Matusow blowup" worked. The pros pretty much avoid putting in a lot of money without the goods, and the game becomes more of a value-betting and unwanted pot-stealing battle. It's fun to play against good players, but not as fun as watching someone put in $2000 with two outs to win.


Today: +2354
Year to date: +14977

Tax Season

This morning the Fish and I met with an accountant and began discussing the problems and details of paying our taxes this year. It is going to be a somewhat sticky process because
  • The GnightMoon account has been heavily used by both of us, and all of the winnings from it will likely be reported as mine.
  • There will be a lot of deductibles
  • I don't exactly keep great records

Thus the presence of the accountant, a nice guy who is really into poker. The bad news is I have to pay a ton of money to the government. Of course that's really a good thing.

I pretty much sucked it up on the frisbee golf course this afternoon, one of my poorest performances in quite a while. I've noticed that when I get up earlier than usual like I did today, I feel great a couple hours afterwards but fall apart later in the day.

At night all the Crewhaters played online tournaments at Wolf and Pickett's house, with fairly weak all-around results. I gave a pretty crappy performance in the tourneys as well as a brief one-table cash game sitting, though I did not play as badly as the Colorado Buffaloes basketball team, soundly beaten at home by a sloppy Christian Moody led Kansas squad.


Today: -1160

Year to date: +12623

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hard Work

I slaved away most of the afternoon and all of the evening on Party Poker...

Quite often we use words like "slaved" and "grinded" to describe a few hours sitting at a computer console, listening to music, chatting on instant messenger, and playing a game. At the time it does feel a bit like "grinding", whatever that is. There are long periods of semi-boredom, and it can be very frustrating. But come on. It's not as boring or frustrating as

Bagging groceries
Bussing tables
Sorting through boxes in a warehouse

Even those lousy jobs would be greatly appreciated by a lot of people. And playing poker, even when it's not going swimmingly, is still a lot more fun than any of those jobs. When I was doing those jobs all I could think about was the future - what I would do that night when work was over, what I would do later in the summer when I quit the job, what I would do when I "grew up."

Well, I'm all grown up now and I'm living the dream. I really am. I didn't do any kind of "work" for money for three straight weeks recently. I get to travel around the country pretty much whenever and wherever I want. I play a game for a living.

So it's pretty disgusting to think about me complaining about bad beats, bitching cause I'm up "only a couple thousand" on a session, or whining about my "bad luck", when in reality there should be no such thing as a bad beat when you are a professional poker player, you should be grateful to win "only a couple thousand" and in fact I might be the luckiest person I know.

All this afternoon and early evening I "grinded" it out. I was up "only a couple thousand" for about four straight hours. I really believe I was playing well, just as I believe I played well yesterday when I lost about 8k. The cards just weren't hitting as much as they're "supposed" to and I took a couple rough beats as well. In the poker sense of the word, it really was a "grind." Of course sitting in the basement listening to Bloc Party clicking the mouse isn't exactly unpleasant.

The Wolf showed up around 6:30 to grind it out alongside me in the basement on the sketchy wireless connection. While the Wolf played tourneys on Party and Stars I kept putt-putting along on the 2k tables. I must say I was bitching quite a bit to the Wolf and he put up with it like a good friend should. I kept saying things like "just ONCE I want to get lucky and flop a set" and "learning how to deal with all these shitty cards is going to make me such a better player." The Wolf told me to keep my head up and continue to grind, and never told me the truth, that I was being a baby and horrible runs of cards and bad luck are parts of the game that any professional needs to be able to handle. I also told him that "when the rush hits it's going to be so strong, no one including me is going to even know what happened."

The rush finally hit as evening turned into night and I massacred the tables for several hours on end, winning pot after pot while losing no significant ones. Finally the cards came and the old familiar feeling of taking down aces with 7-5 suited came back to me. It has been a long time since I've had a nice rush and this was one of the biggest ever. Special thanks to the Wolf for supporting me and not clocking me cold during the whining.

I wrapped up the session and joined the Wolf for a $50 tourney on Party that started at 1. Both of us had good chips at different times during the tournament and we both took crucial bad beats in disgusting fashion. This was the Wolf's, shortly after hitting the money:

Seat 1: AllnTim (9230)
Seat 2: TREX38 (11920)
Seat 3: LepSep (7444)
Seat 4: vegasmomxx (3780)
Seat 5: ih8dancox (13108)
Seat 6: SunPoker3D (8877)
Seat 7: TheGraveWolf (8876)
Seat 8: thebull8881 (13538)
Seat 9: sam90802 (13878)
TheGraveWolf posts small blind (200)
thebull8881 posts big blind (400)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to TheGraveWolf [ As, Ac ]
sam90802 folds.
AllnTim folds.
TREX38 calls (400)
LepSep folds.
vegasmomxx folds.
ih8dancox raises (1100) to 1100
SunPoker3D folds.
TheGraveWolf raises (3100) to 3300
thebull8881 folds.
TREX38 folds.
ih8dancox calls (2200) (immediately)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 7d, 9d, 9h ]
TheGraveWolf bets (5576)
TheGraveWolf is all-In.
ih8dancox calls (5576)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 5h ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 8d ]
Creating Main Pot with $18552 with TheGraveWolf
** Summary **
ih8dancox balance 22784, bet 8876, collected 18552, net +9676 [ Qd Ad ] [ a flush, ace high]TheGraveWolf balance 0, lost 8876 [ As Ac ] [ two pairs, aces and nines]

A rough way to end the night as he would have been in great position to make another final table. But he can't bitch about it, because he gets to play a game for a living.


Today: +15776
Year to date: +13783

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

2006 POY Fantasy Draft

Today the Wolf and I picked our poker fantasy teams for 2006. We each picked 25 players. For each player who finishes 2006 ranked 11-20 in Cardplayer's Player of the Year, we receive 1 point. 2 points for 6-10, 3 points for 2-5, and 5 points for the champion. Here are the teams we wound up with:

My team:

1. David Pham
2. John Juanda
3. Phil Ivey
4. James Van Alstyne
5. Scotty Nguyen
6. JC Tran

7. Nam Le
8. Minh Nguyen
9. Tim Phan
10. Barry Greenstein
11. Bill Edler
12. Anthony Reategui
13. Allen Kessler
14. David Singer
15. Jennifer Harman Traniello
16. Bill Gazes
17. Gavin Smith
18. Erik Seidel
19. Chris Bell
20. Darrell Dicken
21. Amnon Filippi

22. Chris Ferguson
23. Adam Friedman
24. Daniel Negreanu
25. Thomas Fuller

Wolf's team:
1. Men Nguyen
2. John Phan
3. Quinn Do
4. Erick Lindgren
5. Michael Mizrachi
6. Tom Franklin
7. John Hoang
8. Tony Ma
9. CK Hua
10. Max Pescatori
11. Freddy Deeb
12. Nick Schulman
13. Ted Forrest
14. Hasan Habib
15. Gioi Luong
16. Allen Cunningham
17. Layne Flack
18. David Levi
19. Juha Helppi
20. Phil Hellmuth
21. Mark Seif
22. Carlos Mortensen
23. Antonio Esfandiari
24. Amir Vahedi
25. Hung "Beast" La


Last night: -4890
Year to date: -1993

Monday, January 09, 2006


I played about 4 hours today. It seems like I've been running bad for a really long time. I'm fighting hard but I just don't seem to be hitting many hands with suited connectors and small pairs. I've also been taking an inordinate amount of bad beats, hands like this:

Dealt to GnightMoon [ 6s, 7s ]
gamblegambel folds.
lastochka777 folds.
kerpowski raises (70) to 70
dnj1958 folds.
GreatWent folds.
sacar folds.
pit540540 calls (70)
SexyMelissa folds.
GnightMoon calls (50)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Qs, 6c, 3s ]
GnightMoon checks.
kerpowski bets (165)
pit540540 folds.
GnightMoon calls (165)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 7c ]
GnightMoon checks.
kerpowski bets (390)
GnightMoon raises (1765) to 1765
GnightMoon is all-In.
kerpowski calls (1375)
** Dealing River ** : [ 3h ]
Creating Main Pot with $4077 with GnightMoon
** Summary **
GnightMoon balance $0, lost $2000 [ 6s 7s ] [ two pairs, sevens and sixes -- Qs,7s,7c,6s,6c ]kerpowski balance $4771, bet $2000, collected $4077, net +$2077 [ Ac Qh ] [ two pairs, queens and threes -- Ac,Qh,Qs,3s,3h ]

One funny hand against a maniac:

Dealt to GnightMoon [ Qc, As ]
kerpowski folds.
GreatWent folds.
sacar folds.
pit540540 folds.
SexyMelissa calls (20)
EPENTHESIS raises (130) to 150
GnightMoon raises (450) to 450
gamblegambel folds.
lastochka777 folds.
SexyMelissa folds.
EPENTHESIS calls (300)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Th, 9s, Kd ]
GnightMoon bets (957)
EPENTHESIS calls (540)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 5c ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 2s ]
** Summary **
EPENTHESIS balance $0, lost $1000 [ 7h 6c ] [ high card king -- Kd,Th,9s,7h,6c ]

One do-not-try-this-at-home ill-advised belligerent bluff:

Dealt to GnightMoon [ Td, 9c ]
gamblegambel folds.
kerpowski folds.
DesertDon74 folds.
pit540540 folds.
SexyMelissa raises (55) to 55
KriyaYoga folds.
GnightMoon calls (35)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 4h, 7s, Ad ]
GnightMoon checks.
SexyMelissa bets (77)
GnightMoon raises (231) to 231
SexyMelissa calls (154)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Ks ]
GnightMoon bets (478)
SexyMelissa calls (478)
** Dealing River ** : [ 5d ]
GnightMoon bets (2064)
GnightMoon is all-In.
SexyMelissa folds (but only after thinking till there were 3 seconds left on the timer)

I fought back after the bad beat (and a couple others) but doomed myself by overplaying KK on a J9x flop. I am pissed off both at my luck and a couple hands that I should have played better.


Today: -3383
Year to date: +2897

A Shout Out

I was going to do a WHOTW but I haven't seen anything all that abysmal in a while, so instead I decided to thank a lot of the people who helped my game improve last year, or have supported my career in a meaningful way. These people have helped me so much and it's them that I want to think about the next time I get sandwiched between Layne Flack and two fierce-looking Swedes. Some read this blog and some do not. Some I don't even know their real names. Several are supposed to be my students but I find I learn a lot from trying to teach them. I'm probably forgetting a few important people here, too. In alphabetical order:

Nate Abbott
Zach Axelrod
Ross Boatman
Truman Bradley
Chad Brown
Kendrick Brown
Craig from Canterbury
The Crewhaters:
Ben Greenberg
Michal Pickett
Zack Sanders
Paul Wasicka
Melody Fuller
Hasan Habib
Alex Jacob
Jonas Jacobson
Brian Larson
Matt Matros
Mike Odeh
Joel Patchell aka gamblegambel
Rod Peate
Julian Silvain
Jimmy Sommerfeld
Ron Stanley
Bradley Swift
SYNDROME aka Irnman187
Napoleon Ta
Mike Tornes


Today: +3888
Year to date: +6280

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Mini Sessions

I had been planning to come back with full force, but an unexpectedly vibrant social life has curtailed my time at the tables. I put in less than an hour yesterday, and about twenty minutes just now. Tomorrow after grilling (a beanburger in my case, as I am trying out vegetarianism this month) and watching the NFL playoffs I will likely put in some real time in the evening.


Friday +342
Today +256

Year to date: +2392

Friday, January 06, 2006

Mission 20k: Day 1

I was very unlucky in my return to the ring. I was cold flopping sets, I lost 2k worth of coinflips, I lost a $2600 pot with AhTh against 66 on a 8h6h4 flop, etc, etc. However I played great and I finished the session with a win. When I start catching some breaks the floodgates are going to open. Along the way I was treated to a couple Party Poker specials:

Dealt to GnightMoon [ Qc, Ah ]
ddeddie raises (40) to 40
HotNikkels folds
.jimdn calls (40)
Stack_Head folds.
GnightMoon raises (175) to 175
bro33 calls (175)
HowardRoark_ folds.
gandi9 calls (165)
thirdgrader folds.
ddeddie calls (135)
jimdn folds.
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 4h, Kc, Qs ]
gandi9 checks.
ddeddie bets (1797.41)
ddeddie is all-In.
GnightMoon folds (after long thought)
bro33 calls (1704) (immediately)
bro33 is all-In.
gandi9 folds.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 5s ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 3c ]
ddeddie balance $2175.91, bet $1972.41, collected $2175.91, net +$203.50 [ Ad Jh ]
bro33 balance $2082.50, bet $1879, collected $2082.50, net +$203.50 [ Ac Jd ]

Dealt to GnightMoon [ Ts, 4s ]
franchisehal folds.
thirdgrader folds.
gcnmoo folds.
TaintedJack folds.
GnightMoon folds.
Stack_Head folds.
SonikBooooom raises (80) to 80
bro33 calls (70)
HowardRoark_ raises (230) to 250
SonikBooooom folds.
bro33 calls (170)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ Jh, 6c, 5s ]
bro33 checks.
HowardRoark_ bets (8168.25)
HowardRoark_ is all-In.
bro33 calls (970)
bro33 is all-In.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 8h ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 3d ]
Creating Main Pot with $2517 with bro33
** Summary **Main Pot: $2517
bro33 balance $0, lost $1220 [ Kd 5h ] [ a pair of fives ]
HowardRoark_ balance $9715.25, bet $8418.25, collected $9715.25, net +$1297 [ Ad As ] [ a pair of aces -- Ad,As,Jh,8h,6c ]

Day 1:

Year to date: +1794

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


2006 is going to be a monster year for me and my career. 2005 was an ideal "first" year as a professional poker player. I took my fair share of lumps while learning the ropes, while still managing to graduate college and build my bankroll to the point where I can make large "investments" on the tournament circuit.

In 2006 I expect to break through to the elite ranks of the top tournament professionals. Over a year ago I made a bet with some friends that I would finish 2006 in the top 20 of the Cardplayer of the Year rankings. I intend to win the bet.

Here is a rough schedule of where I will be playing the first half of the year, provided my bankroll continues to grow:

Mid-late January
Jack Binion WSOP Circuit - Tunica, MS
Gold Strike World Poker Open WPT - Tunica, MS

Jan 29 - Feb 1
Borgata Winter Poker Open WPT - Atlantic City, NJ

~Feb 7 - Feb 21
LA Poker Classic WPT - Commerce, CA

Feb 24 - March 3
Bay 101 Shooting Star WPT - San Jose, CA

March 3 - March 8
WSOP Circuit Harrah's Rincon - near San Diego, CA

March 9 - March 30
World Poker Challenge WPT - Reno, NV

April 6 - April 9
"Oklahoma Johnny" Hale Open - Tulsa, OK

Early - Mid April
WSOP Circuit Caesar's - Las Vegas, NV

Early - Late April
Five Star World Poker Classic WPT - Las Vegas, NV

Mid June
WSOP Circuit Lake Tahoe - Lake Tahoe, NV

June 26 - August 10
37th Annual World Series of Poker - Las Vegas, NV

* * *
It won't be easy to play all these events. I will only to be able to do so if I make a big score or two, or I consistently crush the online cash games. I will be returning to the online realm very soon, perhaps even later today. I have a simple plan before I leave for Tunica - make $20,000. I feel this is the minimum amount I will need in order to feel comfortable playing three different 10k events later in the month.
I feel very fresh and eager to play after my absence the last two and a half weeks. I feel ready to make a huge push and put in a lot of hours in front of the computer. What I really want, though, is to get down to Tunica and start racking up Player of the Year points.