Sunday, June 25, 2006

Best of

A little collection of my best posts in this little poker blog, maybe showing my progress from "working" for three-four hours in a $1-$5 tournament and being proud of a small winning that I nowadays would consider "loose change", to going to the World Series of Poker.

  • Not going to Vegas anytime soon - Little did I know, then. April 2004.
  • I won at WSOP 2004 - I placed a bet on who would win the WSOP 2004 Main Event, and I picked right (Greg Raymer, he was chip leader when the final table started). May 2004.
  • Showdown - My first live tournament. September 2004.
  • Rounders - First time I win (1st place) a live poker tournament. April 2005.
  • Bubble boy - I do well, but don't finish In The Money. May 2005.
  • Getting Even - I don't finish In The Money, but I make it up in a cash game. May 2005.
  • Home game family pot - I play poker with the family. June 2005.
  • Regal colors - I get my first Royal Flush. September 2005.
  • The Big One - I win a seat in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event. November 2005.
  • Exclamation marks - I get congratulated!!!!! November 2005.
  • Passive - I finish In The Money in yet another live tournament. January 2006.
  • Never give up - The importance of not quitting. February 2006.
  • My first comp - I get my first "freebie" at a real casino. March 2006.
  • Morale booster - Doing well. April 2006.
  • Three times - You have to look good while playing. Options: White tie or Black tie. May 2006.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Some promises before my going to Las Vegas and playing in the WSOP Main Event:

  • As usual, a continuous "inner monologue" when I'm involved in a hand. "This player did that and that player did this. I flopped a set but if either one has J9 he has a straight, and if another spade comes there could be a flush, but do they have it? What do they think I have?"
  • I will play as if I had several commentators watching my every play. "Whoa! Martin, this promising player from Sweden flopped a straight but Bob Smith from Alaska got a flush on the turn and the 2 of Spades on the river filled an ace-high flush for Martin. Little does he know that Bob got a straight flush from that card."
  • Check-raise, re-reaise, get "Time!" called.
  • I will truly enjoy myself. I will see in person all the sights I've so far only seen on TV and in movies (Las Vegas, CSI:Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Casino, Ocean's Eleven, National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation, uhm, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas). I will be walking around in a daze with my mouth open and just gawk at all the pretty lights. Swimming in the Bellagio fountain, climbing the Luxor pyramid, engaging a Caesars Palace staff member in gladiatorial combat...
  • Drink. Not get staggeringly drunk or intoxicated. Just want to get that feeling, a warm buzz, of having had a shot or three at two in the afternoon on a Sunday, or a few beers in the evening while playing poker. Or a post-dinner cocktail after being comped a meal.
  • On that note, I also have to buy someone or several people one or several drinks.
  • I will blog as often as I can. Here, and in a Swedish (poker) discussion forum I participate in. The posts may be terse, I won't have the whole afternoon or evening to compose, and I'm not a journalist. No essays going into detail, just recounting some of what happened since the last post.
  • Do something "crazy". Not necessarily gambling related, definitely not the classic and bland "Everything on Red!". I dunno, maybe a pie eating contest or karaoke or a dare. Any suggestions?
  • Schmooze. As I said before, I'll see all the sights I've only seen on TV. Now I can meet the people I've read about and seen. Bloggers, celebrities, pros. Blogging celebrity pros.
  • Make bad jokes. I simply have to arrive at the hotel desk and do the "I just flew in from Sweden and boy are my arms tired" routine.
  • I will NOT wear sunglasses and a hat at the 1-2, 2-4 or 3-6 table.
  • I WILL wear sunglasses at the WSOP tables. In fact, I'll bring several pairs. Wraparounds, Ray-Bans, novelty. I WILL do the "sunglasses upside down" thing.
  • At least once I'll have to use some really stupid deal, like "free coupon" or "players club". You know, the kind where if you "bring this voucher to the Blinga Blanga Hotel Casino and Laundromat or other venues in the Hoobadahonga chain before 2PM on Tuesdays to Thursdays and get $25 in tokens and wait an hour" you get a free meal, 10% off in the gift shop and a T-shirt.
  • Maybe I'll go to a really old, run-down place in downtown Las Vegas. Or some shady joint off-off-Strip.
  • If out from the Main Event early, either try to get sponsored into another WSOP event (or sell percents) or just enter some cheap-ish ($50-$100) tournament at some other casino, or a side game.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I love this game

Played a live tournament Saturday. It was a rebuy+addon tournament and I had "budgeted" three or four buy-ins.

Play was wild during the rebuy blinds levels, I think there was more than thirty rebuys+addons. With only twelve players! I didn't make an addon (but I made one (1) rebuy) since it wouldn't have increased my stack much. Four kings helps build a nice stack.

I got praise from some players, I made some nice calls on the river with a large-ish bet against me. I had hit something, or even only had Ace High but there were possibilities on the table, obvious draws for flush, straight or higher pairs/trips. But I sensed that the opponent didn't hit his draw. I wouldn't have called a very big bet or all in, but the situations were such that I could gamble and call.

With seven players left I had had cold cards for a long while and my stack shrinks. I have about 4100 in chips and blinds are 800/1600. Something playable comes along, JQo and I go all in, on the button. The big blind squirms and calls, wondering "I have two overcards at least, huh?". He thinks I have a pocket pair. Well, he does have overcards, AKo vs my JQo. I'm the dealer and I lay out the flop one card at a time.

First card: K. Dang, not good. Second card: J! Ah, I have a shot. Third card: J!!!11!!one! Trip Jacks vs pair o' Kings.

The turn: K... so I have a JJJKK Full House vs KKKJJ Full House. But I'm not dead yet, the river could be a Jack, that would have been be-e-a-ootiful. But no, and I'm out in 7th place.

The next player is out in another hand that shows the beauty of Holdem (that a hand could swing back and forth). Another short stack goes all in with JJ and gets called by AK. The flop is laid out one card at a time.

First card: Q. Second card: J, trip jacks vs nothing. And then I don't remember if it was the third card or the turn, but a Ten came, nut straight vs trip Jacks, but he's not dead yet. But no quad or boat for JJ.

I don't think I ever would've done differently in either of those two situations, before or after the flop. Short stacked and hitting a good flop, go for it.