Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Highs and lows

Pot limit Omaha hi-lo is a funny game given all of the potential ways you have to win -- and lose -- a hand. But I'm comfortable with O8, much more so than plain old Omaha. One of the bloggers recently referred to O8 as a literal game because everything is pretty much laid out for you. If someone is betting it, the chances are extremely high he actually has it. It makes reading your opponents hands fairly simple. And people likely bluff far less in O8 than in other games, it makes it pretty easy to steal chips from late position, at least in low-limit donkaments.

Perhaps it's no accident that I'm a literal person in life. I do tend to accept things at face value. Thos 3,000 hands of low-stakes NLO8 earlier in the year probably helped as well.

I doubled up in the first couple of minutes of the tournament then mostly treaded water for the next couple of hours. (PLO8, by the way, is one sloooooooow-ass game. It took more than seven hours to complete.) I had blinded down to T1800 about 30 spots from the bubble when I went on a little that got me into the money. I continued to play solid, hit some of my big draws and stole a decent amount from position and was fifth in chips when we reached the final table.

Down to four, I was the small stack with 175K, but third-place guy (the eventual winner) had only 13K more than me. The chip leader was at 483K.

That's when I got aggressive and began opening more pots and hitting some big draws to build my stack to just over 700K and take the chip lead. That's when Eventual Winner got even more aggressive and began to either outplay or outdraw me to take over the chip lead. Likely a combination of both. I sensed he was a much better player than me.

Eventual winner had a 5-1 chip advantage when we reached heads-up. He finished me off a couple of hands later when my As-2s-8d-Th got outkicked by his Ac-2d-8h ... Qc on a board of 8s-9h-5d-5s-5h. Chips went in preflop.

While the payout ($277) is chump change for you ballas, it provides a much-needed cushion for my anemic bankroll. Sadly, it's by far my biggest MTT cash in the more than 35o I've played on Stars and Tilt since the beginning of the year. If I happen to be standing at the precipice of an online heater, I'm more than ready to take the plunge.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Zagat's bedamned

Sunday dinner is the canvas upon which I create my culinary art. Sometimes I produce museum-quality pieces. At other times it's a preschool doodle that only a doting mom would tack on thee famly 'fridge.

This evening's menu was muy facil. A roasted chicken, smashed potatoes with gravy and steamed vegetables -- comfort food for a damp, spring day. Everything, save the chicken (which I managed to roast to perfection) came out wrong.

When it became quite apparent that I had managed to mostly fuck everything up, instead of issuing a burst of profanity that typically serves as an amuse bouche for my kitchen disasters, I chuckled and brought the food to the table where Mrs. Jones and the not-so-little Joneses happily tucked into the thin mashies and gravy, woefully overcooked veggies and roasted chicken as if they were seated at the chef's table at Chez Panisse.

I realized then that culinary beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My mess of a dinner looked pretty damn good to me.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A little something

I managed to get partly off the schneid last night in the Blogger Skillz game, finishing fourth in the PLO8 tournament. While I'm comfortable with general O8 concepts, I've only played a handful of PLO8 tournaments and have never gotten deep enough in one where huge blinds were a factor. I missed a few spots where I could have been more aggressive at the FT. Good learning experience and a fun tournament to play.

Poker Jones Jr. made his varsity starting pitching debut on Saturday. He pitched five innings, gave up one run and two hits, walked two and struck out six to get the win. He wasn't facing the '27 Yankees, but he displayed good poise and threw a decent percentage of first-pitch strikes. A good first step.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hurts so good

Not much poker lately, thus not much to write about. But it's been a good and much-needed break after a steady diet of poker that accompanied my housebound convalescence.

The baseball season is underway. Poker Jones Junior made his regular-season varsity debut the other day, pitching two innings in mop-up duty. Not a bad outing -- no hits, no runs, one walk and two strikeouts.

And there's physical therapy, a 90-minute program I suspect was created by torture specialists at a CIA rendition camp in Romania. Sumbitch does it hurt. Someone -- anyone -- can shove the cliche "no pain, no gain" up their ass?

I did find myself in the vicinity of a driving range earlier today and decided to test the leg. Hit about 30 balls, all with short irons. Hit them well, on target with proper trajectory, but the session proved conclusively that I'm at least a month away, probably longer, from being able to play even nine holes.

There was going to be a post last week about finding overlays in both the noon $30K guaranteed and the 12:15 p.m. $15K guaranteed turbo. Cashed in both, but couldn't get beyond bottom money. And I did win the now weekly CPMG 8-game tournament on Stars Monday night, coming back from a 7-1 deficit heads-up. Only 13 runners, but a satisfying win nonetheless.

About to sign up for the Mookie, where I will undoubtedly flame out somewhere in the middle of the pack. Maybe I'm starting to like torture.