Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Dewey Decimal System and You

I have bad news for you. I played in the $20 MTT last night on Stars. I took notes. Copious notes. Rambling, Tecate-fueled, stream-of-consciousness notes.

And then I left them at home this morning. So, it could have been worse. Still, the very act of writing the notes commits most of them to memory, at least for me, so you'll not be spared.

There were some bizarre goings-on. Such as the fact that I twice, within a dozen hands, flopped a set of 8s and both times the flop came all one suit. In addition, I was heads-up with the same guy for both pots. I took a big hit on the first one when the fourth suited card fell on the river to upend my 8s. I pulled a huge pot on the second when I filled up on the turn.

Again, I thought I played well. I think my new focus-assisting tool helps. I've gone to wearing headphones and listening to music while playing these tourneys. Keeps me much more isolated with the game. No stupid American Idol in the background to distract me and raise my ire. Of course, this means I'm completely shutting myself off from all family communications, so I really can't do it very often.

I started off with a compilation CD I made a couple years back. Damn I'm good. Is there a job where you can get paid for making compilation CDs? I think I'd rise to a corner office in no time. Some people argue--and by "some people," I mean my ultra-music geek friends--that a compilation CD has to "flow." And while that's a nebulous demand, one gets the gist. I, however, do not wholly subscribe to that theory. This is not a techno club where the beats have to match up. I like to incorporate a staccato rythym. Build to a crescendo: loud, louder, faster, thrash...and then pull the rug out, drop it down to mid-tempo, give a brother time to breathe.

The first song is always important. It has to hook, get the blood pumping. I have no predilection for what genre it is. It just can't be Sarah McLaughlin or the like. It has to pump. One of my all-time favorite album/compilation starters is "Violet Eyes" by the Meat Puppets. It just races off from the first note. A perfect Track One.

This one led off with Kings of Leon and "Red Morning Light." A nice mid-tempo foot-stomper. Not the insistant guitar of my usual openers, but nice. Disturbed's "Liberate" and a live version of Metallica's "Master of Puppets" followed and I was off.

I saw 28% of the flops in the first hour. About double what I usually see, especialy early. But I was getting cards. I got A10 at least four times. Pocket 8s twice, as mentioned. Also, KK, AQs and some others that I would happily relate if I had my notes. I was up quite a bit early, then dropped back to just above the starting count with the hit to my set of 8s. When I doubled up later on the same hand, I went to the first break with about T4000.

As the Hives and White Stripes sang about Main Offenders and Balls and Biscuits, I chipped up further in hour two, taking a big step forward with Les Souers des Hilton. Made it 3x the BB to go and got two callers. The flop was Js Jd 2s. Not great, but not bad. I fired out a T500 bet and get raised to 1000. Here we go again. Up against another flush draw, I reckoned. I vow to just call the bet. Of course, after his raise, he has only 300 chips left, so that's useless and I raise him all-in. It's a hard habit to break.

Jackass flips 9s4s. He indeed has the flush draw and he called a 3x raise with that crap. If he gets rewarded here...

Turn is a 4d. Oh great, he just snagged two more outs. River is the 9d. Ha Ha! Three pair no good!

And I'm feeling golden. I'm well above the average stack, playing well, have respect at the table (based on a few successful steals) and into Level 8. Here I get KK on the button. Two limpers to me and I go 4x (up to 1600). And I get re-raised all-in. Uh oh.

I have the guy covered by 3500, but that play just SMACKS of AA. I know this. But I can't lay it down. I call.


It's aces. I don't improve--unlike my opponents do when I have KK against 33--and I'm crippled. Brutal. I fold a few, sitting with only 6x the BB and I get moved, just in time to be in the BB. Great.

I see pocket 9s. Folds to the button who makes a big raise. Excellent. I hope he's on a steal. Then the SB calls. Not great. But I'm out of choices. I go all-in and both call. They flip KQo and KJo respectively. Not terrible for me. Flop misses us all and the turn brings a lovely, ravishing, beautious 9. I triple up. And I get moved. Back to my original table. My original seat. I played one hand at that table, tripled up and immediately go back to where I started! Very strange.

And what is playing while this occured?

"They say the pen is mightier than the sword! Well I say fuck the pen, 'cause you can 'Die by the Sword!'"

Tom Araya > Everyone

That win gets me to the second break. We're about 30 away from the cash and my stack is slightly below average and 12x the BB. I get moved again prior to the re-start. Gonna have to make some plays here, I think.

Which I manage to do and am keeping my head above water. Call it selective memory, but I can't recall the hand which crippled me. I think I made a speculative call on a good-sized pre-flop raise and had to let it go on a bad flop. I honestly don't remember a thing. I do think it happened shortly after making the money. I was working on my 6th Tecate and had switched exclusively to Slayer ("Hell Awaits") for the stretch run. "At Dawn They Sleep" seemed a particularly appropriate cut owing to the late hour.

The mystery result leaves me with only T5000 at Level 11 (6000/1200 blinds; 75 ante). Find the hand and push.

Faithful readers of my blog will know that my favorite hand is AJ. Technically, my MOST favorite is AJ of spades, but any AJ will do. My son now demands to be notified every time I get dealt his name.

So there it is. AJo in LP. I've been blinded/ante'd down to 3800 and UTG+1 comes in for a minimum raise to 2400. I push. Easy call for him and his stack and it's just he and I. He shows QJo. Well, I don't believe I could have asked for more. Flop is all bricks, but with two spades, of which he has one and I have none. Turn is ANOTHER GODDAMN SPADE and all of a sudden he has 11 outs.

He was very apologetic when the Queen spiked on the river. I meant to tell him it's okay, but I could not type due to my head being buried in my hands. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Poker is a skanky 'ho. It is also, in the interest of gender inspecificity (pretty sure that's not a word), a pock-marked man slut.

Finished 49th for a payday of $14 and change. Coupled with my $3.95 profit on the .50/$1 NL table during the first hour, that comes out to nearly $4.50/hour. I would have been most pleased with that rate in 1983. I only got $3.35/hour at the Vine Cinema. Back then, however, I got a lot of perks, such as eating lots of frozen Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough, playing hours of Galaga for free and getting to see "Splash" more often than any human being in history.


April set my mind working (after I managed to boot it up with all the speed of a Commodore 64) with her comment on my Tara Reid reference. Boosting the goggle hits, eh? Not a bad idea. I'm generally bereft of ideas in the best of times, so I'll grab onto one like a life vest whenever one appears. Sure, the demographic Tara and her ilk bring might not be the best, but traffic is traffic.

I was driving to work and pulled up to a three-way stop. I looked to my left and saw Jenna Jameson bobbing her head to the music in her car. Was reading my newspaper on the train and saw a story about Selma Hayek bending over backwards to help her fellow Latinas. When she and Penelope Cruz take an airplane do they Spanish fly? I got a stern talking to at work from the boss. In situations like those, I just feel naked. Uma Thurman looks good in that new Travolta movie. A big scandal in the high school sports scene about some basketball players gambling on the outcome of their games. Imagine, teens shaving points.

I apologize.


The time has come. I need a poker nickname. Now, I'm lousy with regular nicknames. I've got at least 50. That doesn't even include my anonymous and varied fake names on the internet. I've been wanting to change my name on Party Poker and can't come up with a good one. So I figured a deep philosophical discussion on the benefits of a real poker nickname would be in order. Yes, my life is just that exciting.

I started off trying to be derivative, taking some of the methods of the pros. Phil Ivey, the Tiger Woods of Poker. Nice. Name myself after a famous person with a passing resemblance/similar accomplishment level. The Ralph Macchio of Poker? He and I both peaked in 1984. But it's a little lacking in panache.

How about Phil Laak? The Unabomber. Fashion the name based on my fashion. This could work. The Sweater Vest?

No comment.

Fossilman. Soccerman. Blech. "Miami" John. "Moreno Valley" Joe.

This was getting me nowhere. I'll have to find it elsewhere.

My official job title is Sr. Librarian. That's right, Sr. Librarian. It's not exactly what you think. I ain't checking out any books to the likes of you. Or anyone else for that matter. So that's what I'm gonna go with:

The Librarian

It exudes a wealth of information at my fingertips. Unassuming, but bright enough. Able to get tough if necessary, regarding both late fees and position raises. While the name comes from a Vince Van Patten-esque level of creativity, I like it. Because it's stupid. And if there's one thing I enjoy in life, it's laughing at stupidity, especially my own.

The Librarian


At 1:11 PM, Blogger Roman said...

"The Librarian" is meh. Really meh.

I'd go with "Dewey Dismal".

At 1:32 PM, Blogger poker_ghost said...

yeah, I'm with Roman, the Librarian conjures up images of hand knit sweaters, comfortable rubber soled shoes, and blue hair. You need to leave this open for suggestions.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Julio said...





At 10:04 AM, Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

Since you had a rare Ralph Macciho reference, I shall call you "Laruso" from no won. That is your new nickname.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger StudioGlyphic said...

You're trying to become my new favorite blogger, right? Shameless. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, so i like The Librarian. one b/c i think it fits uniquely with your work and personal life; and two, many moons ago when i was a geek i used to play a lot of counter-strike under the moniker of ConanTheLibrarian. i thought it was witty.

who am i kidding - i am still a geek.


great blog. have enjoyed your entries. the comment about rate per hour earned with your poker stars placing reminds me of my comments everytime it happens to me!

gl & good flops in the future!


At 12:28 AM, Anonymous jenna jameson said...

Thanks Poker Blog! Jenna is it ...


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