MarieLizette

The Miscellaneous Rantings of Marie-Lizette

My Live at the Bike LAGtard Escapades of April 20, 2012

May 20, 2012 2 comments

Tags: Poker, Cash Game, NLH, Bicycle Casino, Los Angeles, Donkey, Winning, Live at the Bike.

As you may or may not already know, I played on Live at the Bike last month.

When I first reviewed the video, I was upset by some of the comments that Bart and Dave made about my play, thinking that they just didn't understand my awesome game. Cursing I edited the show down to just my hands with every intent to explain my thinking and justify my plays. Then, I got busy with work and didn't have the time to dedicated to writing a long detailed blog about what a great player I am.

Now, I've finally had a little time to write my blog and I know I've always had a pretty laggy style, but I'll tell you what, watching this video a few more times, with an open mind, really showed me that I have a ton of leaks in my game. Blush

I justified many of the plays I did based on the reads I had at the table, but I've reviewed some of the hands with a few friends of mine who have pretty good reputations as good poker players, and there is a general consensus is that I could have played some spots more aggressively and perhaps not been involved in certain pots based on my EV percentages and opponents range...even though I won them. Needless to say, when I explained my thought processes during a couple of hands the term, "retarded" was used to describe their interpretation of what I was thinking on more than one occasion. Blink Basically, if I try to do this crap at a bigger game with better players, I'm going to be totally soul owned.

In addition to specific corrections and fundamental game theory, I'd have to say that the best advice I received was that just winning big pots here and there is not good enough when your game has leaks that can subject you to wide swings. The idea of winning big here at there is simply too results oriented. The goal is to win consistently over time and choosing those winning spots effectively.

I'm doing what I can to bring my game to the next level by engaging in thoughtful conversations with talented and successful poker plays and keeping an open mind to their criticisms and recommendations. I'm hoping that the next time I post a Live at the Bike session, I will be able to do so proudly. The next time I play on the show, I will use what I'm learning to make more intelligent plays in +EV spots rather than a mishmash of a handful of half-hearted moves mixed in with luckbox wins.

Good luck out there, and see ya at the Rio this summer. Poker Face

Grinding, Grinding and More Grinding

December 03, 2011

Tags: Bicycle Casino, The Bike, Live at the Bike, Poker, Cash Game.

I played the Nooner Daily Tournament at The Bicycle Casino last Tuesday. I bubbled. It was pretty unreal. I was double average at the first break, but then went totally card dead for four levels after. Then it became obvious I was destined for failure. I came in second best with fairly big hands every single time I was in a pot. A friend of mine, Mike Jones, who was seated at my tables agreed that the Poker Gods were out to get me. What was worse is after I busted out in 15th place, the remaining 14 players agreed to take $140 off of first place and pay two additional players $70. Yeah, insult to injury. But I had collected three $10 bounties and played a little bit of cash before the tourney started, so was up $75 when I registered and I was basically freerolling the $50 buy-in.

I was able to redeem myself at the cash tables later that afternoon. I played The Bike's $2-3 NLH ring game. I was actually stuck about $300 when my fortunes changed. Happily, I managed to turn a $700 profit for the day. Oh... and guess who was at my table? The gentlemen who had berated me a week earlier.

He didn't recognize me because I was casually dressed without any make up. He was actually doing well and had several hundred dollars in front of him. He played a wide variety of hands and cracked some big hands with cards like . But he lost often enough because he really had a hard time laying down a hand once he connected with the board. He made several crying calls on the river against me and others. My observation was that he didn't really put people on hands. He pretty much played his hole cards and if he hit big - he won big and if he had a mediocre hand - he would pay off a better hand. However, I found that it was difficult for me to get a good read on him because it's hard to put a player on a hand when he, himself, doesn't really know where he's at. There were a couple of times I probably could have won big pots against him, but choose to play small ball.

On Friday I had an interview with a Fortune 500 law firm, a lunch date with good friend and mentor Jennifer Newell, and a meeting with the Poker Director at The Bicycle Casino. My interview went well and I'm scheduled to return on Monday for a follow-up. Lunch with Jen was absolutely marvelous, I only wish our schedules allowed us to hang out more often. After my meeting at The Bike, I had 3 hours to kill before I had to cover the Live at the Bike table so I played more $2-3 NLH. Again I started off bad, stuck $300 within the first 30 minutes. But I kept a cool head and picked-up with a $200 profit.

In addition to my role as photographer and hostess, I actually played on Live at the Bike last night. I got caught in a couple of bluffs Blush and was felted early in the game, then I was stalked by Deuces for at least an hour and a half. Not pocket Deuces, just a Deuce kicker in what seemed like every other hand. But as usual, I picked up hands towards the end of the night and won HUGE pot after I flopped the nuts with . For those of you who watched the hand, please don't think that I regularly marry myself to such a weak Ace, and you may remember that I folded it to a re-raise, pre-flop, later in the game. The only reason why I called the re-raise was because I had raised from the Button and put Robocop on a Big Blind defensive re-raise with a mid-sized pair. Robocop and I have a pretty good relationship but had never played together. As I said, I had been caught with my hand in the cookie jar a couple of times prior, so it seemed perfectly reasonable that he would want to play back at me with a pair of 9s or Ts, especially with Seat 9 (the KLAC Loose Canon) in the hand. Had Todd not hit a 2-outer on the river, Robocop would have won just as big as I did.

Long story short, although I had a pretty yo-yo stack day, I ended up with a $400 profit for the evening. The game got really juicy after the cameras shut down, but I had been up since 6:00 am (I had baked gingerbread cupcakes for my Poker Netcast co-workers) so I was completely fried. I headed home at 11:00 pm and I think I was out by the time my head hit the pillow.

In addition to the poker grind, the past few days have been filled with surprises and opportunities that have kept me very busy. Hopefully all the running around will mean that I have good news to report in the near future and that 2012 will be a turnaround year for me.

Source: ConfessionsOfAPokerProWannabe. com

Getting Berated at the Table is Always Good Times...NOT!

November 23, 2011 2 comments

Tags: Poker, Cash Game, NLH, Bicycle Casino, Los Angeles, Donkey, Winning.

You may, or may not, have seen yesterday's post: "Down Swings, Run Good and... Tebow?," but I posted a sample hand in that blog entry that exemplified how many times (and believe me - there were lots of them) that I pretty much flopped perfect then lost to runner-runner. I'm not really one to blog about game theory or go on, and on, and on about hands that I've played because as both a poker player and as poker media - I see a lot of hands and the last thing I want to do is revisit them.

Every now and then I do include the details of a hand that I've played because this is a type of poker blog and I suspect that those of you who don't eat, sleep and breath poker enjoy hearing about the way pivotal hands play out. Well... a hand that I left out of yesterday's post, but was actually the most pivotal hand of a profitable night, turned out to be a topic of conversation with a friend of mine last night so I decided to post the hand for feedback.

First, let me lay a quick foundation of how the night began. I started with $300 at The Bicycle Casino's $100-300 NLH game (2-3 blinds). It was a new game and the majority the players at table had just busted out of a tournament and bought in for a minimum $100, with just 3 players in for $200. I sat down at 7:30 p.m. and, in the beginning, had a bit of a yo-yo stack. I picked up Aces once but didn't get much action and picked up Queens three times and lost all of them... damn Ace magnets. Sneaky The one hand I seemed to get over and over again was Ace-King and it was good about 50% of the time.

I was able to set a good table image within the first 2 orbits when I laid down {a-}{q-} after I re-raised the 4x raise under-the-gun and he went all-in for just $65 more. Since he was immediately to my right, I tapped the felt, showed him my {a-}{q-} and mucked...he tapped back and showed me pocket Kings. I must have been pegged as super-nit right there and then. A few hands later I called a 3x raise on my Big Blind and checked dark to the flop. I had {7-Hearts}{4-Hearts} and the Flop was {k-}{4-}{8-}. The raiser checked back to me and we both checked the second {8-} on the Turn. A {9-} hit the River and again I checked but the raiser went all-in for $50 (total pot was about $20). I called and sure enough, my 4 was good. That hand became the joke at the table..."Remember the four? Pro-fes-sion-al."

With the exception of {7-Hearts}{4-Hearts}, I pretty much stuck to playing big hands that night. I usually mix-up my game with all types of drawing hands and as most will confirm, I play relatively loose-aggressive most of the time. But after six weeks of running bad I felt that adjusting my game to stay within the ABC poker parameters of pairs and big Aces, raising in position and stay out of pots when off position would be the right move so that I could cash-in a positive session. By 10:30 p.m I had turned my $200 investment into $600. That's when the big hand happened.

After about 3-hours of pretty solid play, showing big hands at showdown, mucking all three of my pocket Queens face up on the Flop, and just the mere fact that I'm a girl that hadn't played a hand for about 2 orbits, I figured I could make a play with {k-Spades}{q-Clubs} in hijack position to steal the dead money in the pot (there were 4 limpers plus the blinds and a straddle).

It almost worked. All but two players folded to my 5x raise (a total of $30). Now, for those of you don't know me...I hate raising big!!! I prefer small raises, between 2.5x and 3x max, but at the $2-3 NLH game at The Bike, a 4x to 5x raise is a pretty standard raise...and is often called by the less savvy players at the table holding inferior hands hoping to get lucky under the guise of "pot odds." I literally only raised 5x two times prior and both of those times I showed pocket Queens (after losing the first time, I played those evil little witches aggressively, pre-flop.)

The Flop was Jack-high with a Nine on board, giving me a gut-shot straight draw. One player checked and the second player bet $40. I considered re-raising to further convince him that a Jack was no good and pulled out a $100 stack. I counted it out while I pondered my options...then quietly announced, "call..." gazing at the person who had checked the Flop, represent that I wanted him to, "come on in, the waters fine." However, he chose to fold and the remaining player and I went to the Turn, heads-up. My goal was to simply call the flop and then aggressively bet the Turn. Whistling

The Turn was so insignificant, I don't remember what it was. My opponent checked to me and I began counting out chips to bet. While I was counting out my bet, I reconsidered my plan an thought of checking for a free card to keep the pot small, but my original game plan going into the hand was to represent that I had a big pair. It simply would not have made any sense to check the Turn there and I believed I could end the hand with the right sized bet. I thought about the range of hands he would have called my pre-flop raise with and, although I had put him on {a-}{j-} when he lead out on the flop, maybe my opponent had been set-mining with an underpair and checked to me after realizing his feeler bet on the flop didn't win him the pot or, even better, he believed my story and decided that his Jack was no good and gave up after not turning two pair. I knew that if I checked the turn and failed to connect my Queen, King or catch a Ten on the River, that I was not going to win. The pot was about $140 so I bet out $80. I figured he'd see a half-pot sized bet as a value bet, which it kinda was.

I arrived at the number $80 based on my desire to either 1) get great value should he want to continue fishing for a set with an underpair when he's already made the decision to fold if he misses, 2) control the pot size should he in fact have {a-}{j-} and is too stubborn to fold - believing that I still had outs to the 10 and two overs to the Jack, or 3) value to fold should my opponent ship-it all in over the top of my bet. He had started the hand with about $500 and while I was willing to invest $80 to try to win the $140 in the middle, I certainly was in no mood to play for stacks with a gut-shot. He hardly gave it any thought and flat called the $80 bet. Blink

Well, clearly he did not believe that I had him beat. In fact, when he smooth called my Turn bet I had to give him credit for a big hand, and it seemed plausible that he could have had a set of Jacks or set of Nines and was just slow playing me. After all, I had seen him crack Queens an hour earlier with pocket Jacks when he flopped a boat and he played that hand exactly how he was playing this hand. As the dealer reached for the deck to deal the River card, I had pretty much convinced myself that unless a 10 came, I was done with the hand because there was no way I was going to succeed in bluffing the River. No

Well guess what? I binked the {10-Spades} on the River! W00t I know, I know...lucky donk. Not only did I hit my straight, it was a total rainbow-unpaired board. I had the stone cold nuts right there. I knew I wanted maximum value for my hand but I was afraid that, unless he had a set, he would fold to a big River bet if he put me on Queens or better. I decided that $120 was a bet he could not fold to if he had a pair of Jacks and would at least min-raise back at me if he had a set. After pushing my bet forward, he leaned back in his chair and hung one arm over the backrest. "Dammit," I thought, "He's going to fold." But, how wrong was I?!?!? He looked me dead in the eyes and said, "Well, guess I'm all in then." I looked to the dealer to see if it was binding and when he tossed the all-chip in front of my opponent I assertively said, "I call." Drool

I totally expected him to turn over a set of Jacks...or at least {a-}{j-}. Again, how wrong was I?!?!? He proudly turned over {q-Diamonds}{j-Diamonds} and I showed him my {k-Spades}{q-Clubs}. My neighbor to my right, tapped the felt and said, "Well played, I thought for sure you had Aces there." The third person in the hand nodded and said he folded on the flop believing I had Queens. I have to be honest, I was in a state of shock and utterly flabbergasted that my opponent invested over $500 on a naked Jack. Scared What was even more incredulous was the fact that, after overcoming his initial shock of not having the best hand, he went ballistic and began berating me as the dealer pushed all of his chips my way.

He asked me if I knew what my odds where to hit the gut-shot and told me I was a donkey for calling him down with such a shitty hand. I admit that I got defensive and tried to educate him about the theory behind my play. I explained that, as the initial pre-flop raiser, I had intended to represent a big pair from the very outset of the hand and smooth called his $40 bet on the flop with every intention of making an aggressive play on the Turn. He told me that I'm an absolute horrible player - the worst he's ever seen - and that he hoped I frequent The Bike often because the next time he sees me, he's going to school me. Calmly, I tried to clarify that I raised with the best hand pre-flop and simply attempted to continued to represent a better hand in my bid to win the pot... the straight draw was inconsequential until he called my bet on the turn. I even let him know that had he shoved over the top of me on the Turn, he would have absolutely won the pot right there and then.

The dealer asked if he wanted more chips and he declined in a very rude manner. He stood up and the dealer called out, "Seat open." But I my opponent was not quite finished giving me a piece of his mind. He stood behind the dealer and proceeded to tell me that he deserved all my chips and that if I hadn't been such a lucky donkey he would have my entire stack sitting in front of him. I agreed that I had gotten lucky on the River, but disagreed that I would have shipped my entire stack to him - even if I had paired my King or Queen because I had given him credit for a set of Jacks when he smoothed called on the Turn. But, he didn't hear a word I said. Instead he continued to go on and on and on about what a donkey I was to chase a gut-shot and that I'm too stupid to know what my odds to win the pot were with just three outs. Cursing He then informed me he has plans to get his money back and more, the next time he sees me. Not knowing what else to say, I told him that I'm at The Bike every Friday, pointed to the Live at the Bike set, and said, "I'll be right over there."

He continued yelling obscenities at me and I was just about to call a Floorman when the gentleman to my right, clasped my hand. He looked at me and said that I had played the entire night exceptionally well; I did not need to explain myself to that angry man. He said that from the outset of the hand, I made all the right moves to win it. I played it well and got the result I wanted and I should be proud of my game regardless of what anybody says. I took a deep breath, looked around at the faces at the table, they all had gentle expressions for me and a regular player who was seated to my left nodded in agreement. I motioned to the dealer to start dealing again, not saying another word about he incident. He walked away and I played for another hour, made another $200, then called it quits.

So, what do you think?

Source: ConfessionsofaPokerProWannabe. com

Down Swings, Run Good and... Tebow?

November 22, 2011

Tags: Bicycle Casino, Commerce Casino, Donkey, LA, Los Angeles, Loser, Poker, Satellite, Tournament, Winner, Shenanigans.

My Satellite Chips
My Satellite Chips

Last Thursday I made my way up to Commerce Casino looking for a little run good of my own in a bid to get into the L.A. Poker Open Main Event after WhoJedi cashed in yet another event. I played four, count'em FOUR satellites and didn't make it to the 2nd break on any of them. I may have played bad, I definitely didn't run good, and at least a few people assured me that I was merely the victim of a series of unlucky bad-beats. As any poker player will tell you, there are just some hands that you can't win once you've decided to play them.

For example, I had {a-Diamonds}{q-Spades} in the big blind with an average stack when my loose-aggressive neighbor with a short stack raised 3x under-the-gun, pre-flop. It was early, the blinds were 50-100 and we each started with 5K, but my neighbor managed to lose a few pots and was down to a little over 2K at the beginning of the hand. The flop came {a-Hearts}{3-Clubs}{q-Clubs} and I checked to the raiser. He bet another 300 and I smooth called, hoping to induce an all-in on the turn (or maybe even fold if a 3rd club came). When the {2-Spades} hit the turn I checked again, and sure enough - he shoved all-in. I insta-called and he opened {a-Clubs}{4-Clubs} , then binked the {5-Spades} on the river. I asked him if I shoved all-in preflop (like I would ever want to do that with nearly 5K at the 50-100 blind level) would he have called, and he said, "Definitely - I was short-stacked."

Okay, I don't agree that 20 big blinds is "short-stacked," but if that was his pre-flop plan of attack - - then the only way I don't lose chips there is by deciding not to play and folding my hand pre-flop. It's unfortunate, but it happens. I don't know that there was any good or bad way to play that hand because the hand played itself. I could give you several other examples, but you get the gist. Thursday just wasn't my day as far as tournament poker was concerned.

Thursday was, however, the day for Pacifico Beers, ubber-deadly Margaritas and Tebowing! After busting out of the final satellite for the evening, I was all set to go home when Matt "McMattoPoker" Affleck realized that the chances of a $280 single table satellite going before the end of the night was unlikely so he invited WhoJedi and I to have a beer with him. The sports bar was having Karaoke night so we elected to hang out at the Commerce's rendition of the "Hooker Bar." All the televisions screens were aglow with Tim Tebow interviews and game footage following the Denver Bronco's win against the New York Jets, and WhoJedi and McMatto were discussing the possibilities of having a Tebow trophy for the next Commerce poker series.

Gses was a redonkulous chipleader in the final mega satellite so he joined us for a Pacifico or two while the field whittled down, followed by DMoonGirl and Owen Crowe. Danny wanted a margarita so the bartender hooked her up with a double Patron margarita on the rocks (that was more of a 3x if anything). It was so incredibly knock-your-socks-off, it was instantly named "The Tebow," and everybody except WhoJedi and me ordered one. That did it. Within minutes everyone was thoroughly shit-faced and we all proceeded to launch a twitter campaign of #Tebow poses around the Commerce Casino.

It was a crazy, memorable night and I didn't get home until 4:30 a.m. on Friday morning!

Matt Affleck #Tebowing in front of the Commerce Casino fountain.
Matt Affleck #Tebowing in front of the Commerce Casino fountain.

I had meetings and Live at the Bike scheduled for Friday but I was too lethargic to focus on anything productive. The meetings ran long and I had just enough time for a 30 second Live at the Bike interview before show's end. Zac from QuadJacks.com had come to town so we both wondered over to Commerce so he could say his Hellos. We didn't stay long as he was headed right back to Vegas and I needed to go home to get some sleep.

I was feeling so dejected after such a bad run on Thursday that I didn't venture back to L.A. until Monday. I had to pickup a check at The Bike, so I figured I'd make a day of it and sweat the L.A. Poker Open final table and maybe put in some hours at the cash tables. I brought my friends at Commerce some pumpkin-spiced cupcakes and then played a little $3-5 NLH. I won a few small pots and lost big pots to a series of unfortunate Runner-Runner WTF!? hands and gave-up after 3 hours. I was only invested a single $200 bullet, but I just didn't see the point in continuing to play a game that I clearly could not beat. I said my goodbyes since everybody was headed out of L.A. after the series and headed over to The Bicycle Casino.

I picked up my check and realized that I had another hour to kill before traffic was cleared up enough to return home to Orange County. I put $300 down in the $2-3 NLH game. I played my usual game and can't say that I played great nor that I played horrible. I could have won some huge pots if my reads where a little better, but I made some pretty sick calls and well timed plays. The one thing I can say is that I worked hard on my table image and used it to make moves here and there that proved to be profitable. By the time I left The Bike at 11:30 p.m., I was up $600 for the day.

I'm really hoping that last night's win marks the end of my horrible 6-week run and is a sign of brighter things to come.

Source: ConfessionsofaPokerProWannabe. com

#CoronaRunGood Strikes Again...

November 16, 2011

Tags: Bicycle Casino, Commerce Casino, Jackpot, Live at the Bike, Los Angeles, Poker, Tournament, WhoJedi.

It's been a week since my last post (Back to Back Busto) and a few interesting things have happened since then.

Friday 11-11-11 was easily my most exciting day. Not only did the long anticipated Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim hit the stores, I had a great Live at the Bike evening planned. I had scheduled former PokerNews.com reporter, Jay "WhoJedi" Newnum, and Mega Millions Series II runner up, Greg Sessler, to be a guests on the show... and if you've been following along on all my past blog posts - when I get to entertain guests it's always a party. W00t

Jay "WhoJedi" Newnum
Jay "WhoJedi" Newnum

You may remember that WhoJedi shipped a Commerce Casino event early last week so he was excited to play on Live at the Bike in the hopes that his #CoronaRunGood streak was still going strong. Well, guess what?? It was!!! For the first time in Live at the Bike history, the Bicycle Casino's Super $100K Bad-Beat Jackpot was hit at the table. How good does WhoJedi run? The $100K Bad-Beat Jackpot is only paid from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm every other hour. Live at the Bike only airs from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. - literally a small window of opportunity to hit the Jackpot on the show.

Elan took the bad beat with Quad 3s and received $50K. C.W. won the hand with Quad Qs and received $25K plus the $500 pot. The remaining 7 players at the table each received a table share in excess of $3.5K. Based on how incredibly good WhoJedi runs - my official Twitter hashtag is now #WhoJediWannabe. Hell, maybe I should just change the name of my blog to:

www.confessionsofapokerprowannabe.com
www.confessionsofapokerprowannabe.com

I mean really, who needs to be pro when you can run-good like the Jedi?

Elan describes the jackpot hand during my Live at the Bike interview.
Elan describes the jackpot hand during my Live at the Bike interview.

All of us involved in producing the Live at the Bike show agree that the 11-11-11 Jackpot show was the most exciting one to date. I was able to do several field interviews and Bart Hanson admittedly had a "Bartgasm." The only person who seemed at all disappointed by the jackpot was Greg Sessler who maintained a ho-hum attitude throughout the night, which I'm convinced was all part of his evil plot for max EV on camera time. If you missed it, the show is saved in the PokerNetcast.com archives and I recommend watching it.

Harlequin of the Degens
Harlequin of the Degens

In other news, I have managed to continue my down swing. I played two flights of the Commerce Casino $125 Turbo $200 Guarantee on Saturday, November 12th and totally donked. No I just couldn't make anything happen. Disappointed with my performance, I chose to buy Skyrim and retreat into a world of dungeons and dragons on Sunday afternoon and have been there ever since.

I did crawl out of my hole for a few hours last night to attend a little shindig up at Beso Hollywood hosted by my friend Chad Brown, then I stopped by Commerce Casino on my way home to say hello to Danielle "DMoonGirl" Anderson who is back in town for a few days and sweat Maria Ho in the $1K L.A. Poker Open event. Tomorrow I will play a few satellites in a bid to get into the L.A. Poker Open main event and I'm probably going to beg WhoJedi to loan me his Micros shirt and Purdue sweatshirt in hopes of a little run good of my own.

Three Days of Poker: An Example of Variance

October 03, 2011 5 comments

Tags: Poker, No Limit Holdem, Tournament, Bicycle Casino, The Bike.

With the Mega Million Dollar Guaranteed poker tournament starting on September 30th, I figured my weekend would be booked with nothing but tournament poker, so I had to assume Thursday might be the only day that I could cushion the blow that the re-entry event might have on my wallet. I drove down to the Bicycle Casino around 5:00 p.m. There were a few tables running, most with 1 to 2 seats open...a slow night. I set my loss limit at $500 and my profit goal at $600 and put $200 into the $2-3 No Limit Hold'em game ($100-$300 spread buy-in). I was quickly up to $550 and only needed another $50 to meet my goal, but the $2-3 NLH is a fishy game. Too often players sit with just $100, and wait for an all-in moment. Sure enough, I picked up Jacks on the button a the same time the short-stacked Big Blind picked up Kings. All-in pre-flop and $100 gone just like that.

A few hands later, I picked up Kings in early position, with a ubber-tight limper under-the-gun. I raised to $16 (a pretty standard raise with a $3 blind) and got 2 callers behind. Ubber-tight raised to $50. Shit. Aces obv. But the Bicycle Casino offers a bad-beat jackpot and Ubber-tight and I had been playing pretty friendly so I flatted figuring that it wouldn't hurt to see a flop. Who knows, maybe we'd hit a jack pot...I knew where I was in the hand and $50 was just the right price to see a flop with Kings, in my opinion. One player folded, but I was a little surprised that Luckbox in Seat 7 (who was clueless Confused in most hands he played) called behind. The flop was 9♣, 6♣, 3♠...no jackpot, Aces win. Ubber-tight bet $120 and I insta-mucked Kings face-up. Luck box then shoved all-in. Ubber-tight made the call with his last $50 and showed his Aces. Shocked, Seat 7 showed him the bad news - pocket 6s. I asked Luckbox if he regularly makes $50 calls with 6s and he proclaimed that he didn't realized Ubber-tight had Aces there, then told me he was amazed Oh My! that I had Kings and I folded them on the 9-high board. I chuckled and said, "easy laydown." I bought Ubber-tight a Corona and wished him better luck next time.

It wasn't long before I was back up to $550...just shy of my $600 goal, mostly because of a super loose "genius" with over-sized Rayban sunglasses that sat down to gamble. I should have just accepted that $550 was a enough for my $200 investment. Rayban went on a heater and rivered back to back to back wins against me. An example: He limped with 9♣2♣ UTG, I raised in mid-position to $20 and because there were 2 callers behind, he called. I flopped and Ace, he flopped a 9 and filled-up by the river. Really, what pot-odds was he hoping to get open limping with nine-deuce under-the-gun? I know, I know... it was suited. I allowed him to frustrate me and ended up down $400 for the night. I gave-up at midnight and went home.

I returned to The Bike on Friday at around 1pm for the tournament. I didn't even make it to the first break. I was definitely feeling a little off my game. I had mentally scolded myself for not picking up with a profit the night before and for letting that horrible player put me off my game. Needless to say, I didn't get a good night sleep and was not as focused as I need to be. I took a short half hour break, then decided to play a little $5-5 NLH ($300-500 spread buy-in) determined to bring myself back-up to even. I was feeling a little gun shy, but I set my mind to remaining focused on my $600 goal. I caught some good hands and turned some mediocre hands into nut-crackers for some big pots. (But, I will never play nine-deuce or any naked deuce under-the-gun...there's a difference between playing range and position... and just plain bad play.) At one point, a player outright said that he didn't know what hands he could call my raises with because I have such a wide range. I've heard that before...I LIKEIT! Poker Face I hit my goal just as the clock struck 6pm - time for me to register for the 2nd flight of the day.

The first 6 levels of Flight 1B were frustrating. I'd play preflop with the best hand and lose the pot, then have to take risks to win big pots with drawing hands. I worked for each and every chip. I stayed at double average for the majority of the day. Unfortunately, as the blinds went up and the shorties began to shove, I went card-dead. I made it to the top 10% with average chips but got blinded down. At around 2am, I finally picked-up 7s in high-jack position with just 45K (5K-10K+1K ante) and got it all in pre-flop. The Big Blind called with Queen-Jack off suit and flopped trip-Queens. Game over. I placed 16th for $500.

On Saturday, I woke up around 10am. I rolled out of bed, took a quick shower and returned to The Bike to try again. I had hoped to play a satellite before the 1pm Flight, but the Event Center had not opened yet. There was no $5-5 NLH game going so I sat in a $2-3 NLH game. It was a slow limpy table and after an hour I was down $75. Disappointed, I left the game to play the tourney.

I had a great starting table! I had doubled early and maintained triple average for the first 12 levels. Then came the dreaded broken table move. There were 6 shortstacks to my left, all with 10 big blinds or less. I lost every race but still above average. Finally, I picked up Queens under-the-gun. I 3-bet raised and got 3 callers. The board was all low, with a diamond draw so I C-bet 2/3 the pot. One caller folded and the Button shoved. I called and he opened up Jacks. YES! The turn was a Jack... NOOOOO! Cursing And the Jack on the river was just plain overkill. I had just 5 big blinds left. I shoved with Q/Jo on the button and the Big Blind called with 6s. Did I mention that I had not won a single coin flip at that table? I was out at 5:30 pm. I registered for the 6pm flight and didn't even make it to the antes. I was out in record time when my Jacks were cracked by a set of deuces...yup, he limped under-the-gun and then flat called after a raise and my button re-raise, then a few hands later rivered a gutshot straight against my two pair, all-in on the turn. Thumb Down

Where did I go next? You guessed it...straight to the cash tables. I chose to buy-in for $300 into the $5-5 NLH game. There were some really deep stacks along with some shortys. The conversations was good but the action was even better! By 9:00 pm I had turned an $800 profit. I thought of staying until midnight, but my daughter sent me a text message asking me if I'd be home soon and I had to consider that my son had an 11:45 am soccer game scheduled on Sunday morning. It was time to leave.

Three straight days of poker, poker, and more poker - averaging 12 hours per day. Lots of Sneaky bad losses, lots of Thumbs Up good wins, and a whole lot of variance.

An Hour's Worth of Work and a Little Gas Money

September 28, 2011 1 comments

Tags: Poker, Bicycle Casino, Cash Games.

On September 27th, at around 7:00 pm, I hopped in my car and headed to the Bicycle Casino to play a $2-3 No Limit Hold'em ring game. I was feeling a little tilted Crying (as documented in yesterday's Confessions of a Poker Pro Wannabe post), but I have to do what I can to get back on my feet, and as it stands...I play poker for a living so sitting at home sulking is not an option.

In order to keep a steady pace, I set limits and goals. Last night, my investment limit was $500 and my goal was $600 or midnight, whichever came first.

I didn't sit at a table until a few minutes before 8:00 p.m. I took Seat 7, and who should be seated to my left in Seat 8 - - none other than Stout Guy. He giggled a bit and complimented me on following his advice by putting on a little make-up. (I didn't bother to tell him that it wasn't to his credit, but more because I had been crying earlier and needed to not look like a hot mess at the table.) Stout Guy asked me if I remembered his name and I honestly answered in the negative. He then showed me his player's card - - Gene, his name is Gene. I looked at him and said he "looked like a Gene," he then responded, "Yup, Gene the Love Machine." I chuckled and smiled politely. Blush

I was up $700 by 8:45 p.m. and Gene was sure to point out that he was my good luck charm. Maybe...anything's possible. I was running so good that I felt a bit conflicted about picking up early in the night, so I texted my friend Jay, for advice. He agreed that if I met my goal, I should stick to the plan and get up. At the very least, I should take my chips off the table, pocket the profit, and play again after a short break. I got up, left my chips at the table, and walked over to the tournament room to check on the goings on. I said my hellos, then returned to the game.

I played two more hands on my Big and Small blind. I lost $93 in the first hand A/K < Ts and won $95 in the second with Kings. Gene cheered that I had won back what I'd lost, and I whispered to him that my goal was $600 for the night. He too said, "then get up, go home and take the rest of the night off." He added that as my pimp, he was entitled to 20%...jokingly obviously.

My Racks
My Racks

I chose to stick to my program and racked up my chips, tossing Gene a $5 lucky chip. After all, $700 in 45 minutes is pretty sick R.O.I. for my $300 investment.

The Price of Gas
The Price of Gas

On my way home, I stopped to fill up my gas tank and buy a burrito...costing me exactly $100. By the time I got home, I was right on target: $600 profit for the night. Thumbs Up

I Need a Life (But Then Again, I can't Afford One Right Now)

September 11, 2011 1 comments

Tags: Poker, Tournaments, Charity, Fallen Heroes, Bicycle Casino.

It's a Saturday night (oh my, make that midnight on Sunday morning) and my kids have been gone all day with my aunt and cousin. Although they were supposed to just spend a few quality hours together before my cousin goes off to U.C. Davis to study bio-engineering, the children have decided to spend the night at my aunt's house.

What does that mean? It means that I'm free to do whatever I want to do with my Saturday evening. Of course, "free" is a relative word. While I'd like to be at Commerce Casino taking a shot at a tournament or at The Bike grinding it out at the cash tables, I'm a bit strapped for cash at the moment (and it takes money to make money in the industry of poker). Poker Face

I've been stranded at home all week because my car has been in the shop getting the 60K tune-up, two new tires and related adjustments, as well as several other issues fixed, including the electronic throttle control that went out on me during one of my trips to Vegas this summer. Although I got my car back today, those damn mechanics wouldn't let me take it without first relieving me of the contents of my wallet. They were kind enough to leave me with a handful of poker chips, but funny how chips are are not accepted as legal tender outside of casinos.

Not to worry, I've got some invoices that are out for payment and I'm certain I'll have some pocket change soon, but in the mean time I'm home tapping away at my keyboard writing blogs, organizing the thousands of photos and writing press releases for upcoming events. If you're waiting for your pictures, I'll have them to you next week. If you're waiting to hear from me regarding promoting an event you've contacted me about, I'll get all that squared away next week too. If you're waiting for me to return a phone call or respond to a text message... well, er, um, yeah, I'll get back to you as soon as I can. However, If you're waiting for me to have a bit of free time to have cocktails, that may be a bit farther down the road.

I will, however, be at the Bicycle Casino on 9/11 for the FallenHeroes.org/PokerGives.or g charity poker tournament. After being hold up in my house for so long, I'm looking forward to getting out and seeing some old familiar faces, even if it is work related. See ya there! Smile

Oh! And here are the pics from the last Fallen Heroes USA event that I helped Scott Diamond do in Vegas last weekend:

I'll have my camera at The Bike so bring a smile full of pearly whites and be prepared to say, "Cheese!" Big Grin

A Not-Quite-Epic but Definitely Mega Final Table

August 11, 2011 3 comments

Tags: Bicycle Casino, Dollar, Fausto Saucedo, Greg Sessler, Legends of Poker, Live at the Bike, Mega, Million, Poker, Tournament.

It was set to start at 2:00 p.m. on August 9th, 2011, but it wasn't the inaugural Epic Poker League event. No, it was the Bicycle Casino's 2011 ]Legends of Poker Mega Million Dollar Event Final Table. (Wow...say THAT five times fast!)

The Big Game - Last Hand Since the first Live at the Bike tournament final table was webcast back in March of this year for the fake-NAPT "Big Event" main event, The Bike has webcast several of it's key event final tables. However, although I covered the fake-NAPT final table, I was a member of a reporting team. Matt Snoddgrass did all of the hand recordation and was in charge of the final table report and I was the social media consultant and photographer. Back then, we used the overhead camera to show the cards on the television behind the dealer for the audience to follow along, so there was no need for an announcer. Moreover, PokerNews.com had a full team of reporters do to live up-dates and interviews. The entire final table was carefully documented and would be available on the web for years to come.

Setting up the final table.
Setting up the final table.

This time was different. For the Mega Million Dollar final table, I arrived at The Bike around 1:00 p.m. to start setting up. There's always red-tape that needs to be addressed when doing a live broadcast, so I had to make sure all the paperwork was in order before the Live at the Bike webcast began. We had our full liveatthebike.com camera crew and, as required by the gaming commission, a Bicycle Casino Floorman was on the stage, but I was the only "reporter" on scene. Also, due to some feng shui designer's advice, the television behind the dealer needed to be left off for whatever reason. Accordingly, it fell upon me to document each and every hand, call out the action to the casino audience (and the commentators in the booth), take pictures, update the Twitter and Facebook networks (on a 1 hour delay), conduct player interviews and publish the final table report summary. No biggy, right? Well, it shouldn't have been, it was just one table - buuuuut, I had never, ever, ever done tournament reporting before. Doh! Oooops.

I used 1.5 steno pads to document all 176 hands.
I used 1.5 steno pads to document all 176 hands.

Taking pictures, well that was the easy part (kinda). My camera is out-of-commission at the moment so I had to use a small quickshot camera for the majority of the photos. It takes a while to get comfortable with a camera and learn all its little nuances, so needless to say I have very little to add to my catalog from the final table. It took about an orbit before I found a tablet to write on and develop a system for annotating the action, of course by then we had already lost a player. Yeah, I know, it was live-streamed so the video will be available on liveatthebike.com, why take notes? Because if there is a glitch in the system, we will have to take the larger files off the server and a 10+ hour video is a very large file. It is such a large file and take up so much data, that we had to reset all the servers mid-way through taping; so needless to say, it would have been fool-hearty and unprofessional to solely depend on being able to go to the tape for the report summary later on.

My interview with Greg Sessler (its at 3:11 on the playback)
My interview with Greg Sessler (its at 3:11 on the playback)

Then there was the whole interview issue. Up until the Mega Million Dollar final table, I had only done one pre-recorded interview in my life and it kinda got away from me. I've been tasked to have done several interviews by now, but find myself backing out at every opportunity I get. But, the Legends of Poker is the Bicycle Casino's signature tournament series, and when nobody else did - - The Bike believed in me. With Black-Friday having shut down much of the internet gaming in the U.S., all of the brick and mortar casinos are competing for internet players. SEO is king in this industry and one of the best ways to go viral is with video. They want player interviews to promote on their website and YouTube networks, so I finally jumped in, feet first, and did my inaugural live interview with Greg Sessler. I think given that I've casually known Greg for a while, it was a bit easier for me - but I was soooo nervous and I flubbed so much. I was able to do a total of four interviews (at 3:11, 5:19, 7:38 and 7:47) that day and got a little more comfortable with each subsequent interview, but I have a long way to go before I can add "Interviewer" to my resume.

With Fausto Saucedo (5:19)
With Fausto Saucedo (5:19)

By the end of the 10+ hour event, I was exhausted; completely spend in every way. I learned a lot though, knowledge that can never be taken away from me. I am actually looking forward to doing the next final table. I will be doing each of the Live at the Bike final tables for the Legends of Poker series, although I'm hoping to get a microphone so I don't have to project my voice across the Plaza Floor. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be promoted from young grasshopper to panda master. What?!?!? Yes It could happen...

The SuperNova Elites are Coming To The Bicycle Casino for The Big Event and a Special Live At The Bike Invitational Event

February 24, 2011

Tags: PokerStars, NAPT, LIve at the Bike, Bicycle Casino.

The Big Event tournament series runs from Feb 25, 2011 through April 4, 2011.

The Big Event will feature a five-day Main Event with a $5,000 buy-in starting on March 5 through the 10th. There will also be a broad range of fun and exciting side events catering to players of all bankroll levels during the six week tournament series. A highlight of The Big Event will be the Live at the Bike SuperNova Elite Invitational.

Live at the Bike is the first and only live cash poker game captured specifically for the web and is webcast direct from the world famous Bicycle Casino. Live at the Bike is unlike anything you have ever seen on television. Now with 17 cameras in and around the specially designed table, viewers get a first-hand look at the reality of live cash game poker.

The SuperNova Elite Invitational/Live at the Bike event will be held on the evening of Monday, March 7, 2011, and filmed on the Plaza Poker Floor at the Bicycle Casino. The event will be aired live (with a ten minute delay) at www.liveatthebike.com, with hole card cameras and commentators (Nichoel Jurgens, Bart Hanson, and David Tuchman) calling the action.

Viewers will be able to watch these elite poker players play in a $1,000 buy-in $10/$25 No Limit Hold’em poker cash game live, uncut and unedited. Not only will viewers see how these top pros play poker against each other, but viewers will be able to get a raw and uncensored glimpse of their interactions with one another. Viewers of the webcast are also able to participate in discussions, voice their opinions, and ask questions as the action unfolds via the Live at the Bike live chat forum or Twitter.com/liveatthebike. Viewing Live at the Bike is free at www.liveatthebike.com, simply create a username and password and log-in, no paid subscription required.

The Bicycle Casino is located at 7301 Eastern Avenue, Bell Gardens, CA 90201, just off the 710 freeway and only minutes from the LAX and downtown Los Angeles areas.

For more details, stop by the Welcome Center or visit www.thebike.com. Contact: Director of Marketing, Kelley O’Hara at (562) 806-4646 ext 174 or email kohara4@gmail.com.

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I want to run a special game on @liveatthebike on Feb 14. Either a $5K heads-up cash game -or- $1K turbo 6-max S&G #WinnerTakesAll

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