Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Goal

I've been doing a little thinking the last day or so. I might have come up with a new goal for this wonderful game of poker. And I think I will share it with you guys, so I can keep myself accountable in a public forum. Maybe this way I'll actually attempt to achieve it in the specified amount of time. So without further adieu....

I like to visit my daughter who lives in Hood River, OR every spring & fall, right before the ground gets all that nasty white stuff on it called snow. I also like to coincide these trips with the Pendleton Spring & Fall Poker Round Ups at Wildhorse Resort & Casino. Therefore my goal is to make enough money live & online to afford this trip. I'm looking at around $1,000 for rental car, hotel, & at least two tournament entries @ $210 each. And I'd like to achieve this goal by October 1, giving me plenty of time to arrange flights & hotels. Again, I'll try to monitor all activity in this here blog.

I'm going to have to dip into my personal money to start this but it won't hurt. Online I will stick to $10 - $20 SnG's & $1/$2 Limit HE with the occasional $5 - $10 MTT thrown in for fun.

Wow, a short post from Stump! That is all. Wish me luck & ya'll take care.

PS. I still haven't forgotten about Part 4 of the WSOP. It's coming soon.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Weekend Recap

WARNING: Rant forthcoming! Along with bad beat stories! If you don't want to read please move on to the next blog!

Poker is a cruel game. You could get it in with the best preflop & then get kicked right in the nuts. To win tournaments you must win races.

These are all statements that many of us poker players already know. "In the long run the better player make the money." We all know this but when you run bad for the short run it absolutely sucks. And a bad run is happening right now in my little poker career.

I played in a rebuy tournament Friday night at a friend's house. After the initial buy in & subsequent rebuys a person would be into the tournament for around $115. Pretty expensive home tourney for our group.

Right before the break I raise UTG +1 with AKo. Dude to my left flat calls then cutoff announces he's all in. Now the cutoff is a LAG who could be holding a wide range of hands. I figured if he had a big PP he would simply raise about 3x my raise as not to lose customers. It was obvious to me he had either a small pocket pair, 66 or 77, or a hand like AQ, AJ, or possibly AK. At worst I figure I'm a coin flip, and I'm willing to gamble since I have a rebuy & add on left. So I call. Dude to my left folds. The LAG shows 55 (??) & we're off to the races. Of course I don't improve & I get stacked. I rebuy & immediately add on 1 minute later at the break, but I'm not happy about it.

Later we get down to 2 tables & I'm not in terrible shape - I had about 13 BB left - but I need to improve pretty quickly. UTG raises 3x the BB. All fold to me and I wake up to JJ. I push. UTG tells me he has to call & shows AQo. Of course an A flops & IGHN. You must win races to win tournaments!

Afterwards I go to a friend's house who's having a .50/1 NL game. He usually has a number of donks/calling stations there so my buddy & I go there to feast. Of course the donkeys hit all their draws & I try to make a move on one that costs me my whole stack- yeah, I know I know - & IGH broke.

So the next night my buddy & I decide to head to a local card room after taking in the first half of the Texans game. I'm a season ticket holder so I feel obliged to go & spend some money, on top of the already ridiculous ticket prices. We get to the card room & find there are two seats available at the must-move 1/1/2 PLHE game. I don't know why the hell they switched the game from 1/2 PL to 1/1/2 PL, but whatever. To generate (even more) rake? Maybe.

It took about 15 minutes to figure out who my marks would be. But I never got any cards worth fighting with. After about an hour & a half my buddy & I got moved to the main game, where there were "better" players and a lot more money on the table.

Long story short I had around $190 in front of me when the raping occurred. This donkey-ass in the 9 seat raises to $10 from EP - I paid no attention to his raises because he was already in for around $600 & was a HORRIBLE player. I'm in the 1 seat & wake up to the most beautiful cards in the deck, AsAh. I promptly raise to $30, not exactly pot because I don't want to scare off too many people, namely the donkey. Seat 3 starts thinking & announces he's raising pot. Wow! He's got KK & I'm gonna double thru his ass is what goes thru my head.

So all fold back to Donkey-boy & he starts thinking. All of a sudden he shoves in his stack with a sort of "oh well, I'm behind but I'm stuck" face. Action gets back to me & I insta-shove. Seat 3 has me covered so he starts counting the differece between my all in & his pot-sized bet. While he's counting his chips I comment, "I've got the best hand right now". He says that's what he figured, but he's getting such good pot-odds he has to call. We flip over the cards, my AA is first, seat 3 shows KK - just as I thought - so I wonder just what the hell this idiot in seat 9 has. And he shows...QJh. WTF????? This idiot just called 2 all-ins with that trash?

The sick part was that as soon as I saw the QJh a wave of doom came over me. I was in no way afraid of the KK, I feared the QJ. Mind you, the last two times I had been in this room I had been all in with the best hands just to get rivered by a Q. The first time I had flopped 2 pair with AJ on a board of AQJ & got it all in with a guy who flopped bottom 2 pair with QJ. And a Q came on the river. The second time I got it all in 3 ways after the flop w/KK on a board of JQx. I was up against AJ & KQ, and a Q spiked on the river. So you see my reasoning for my angst.

At this card room you are allowed insurance so we called over the floorman. The odds were too complicated to figure out preflop so I told them to flop it & we'll figure it out from there. Flop came 55Q, so I'm still very much ahead, but that Q scared the shit out of me. We separated the pot for insurance. I would get $350 to $100 vs. the QJ and we'd play for the rest of the pot, which was around $70. The KK I wasn't worried about. I seriously thought about locking up that $350 right then but figured shit, there is no way I'm gonna get screwed again. Let's look at the turn then we'll talk insurance. I told the dealer to peel one off.

And another fucking Q hits the board. I couldn't believe it. The third time in the last three trips I had been screwed by a Q. I buried my head in my hands & wanted to break shit. The donkey fucker starts whooping & hollaring & telling the dealer to start shipping the chips his way.

I have done very well the last year to control my temper. I even quit drinking completely to help curb the problem. But I'll admit I let loose one of the best F-bomb laced tirades ever right after that happened. Something about how I must be f-ing cursed in this f-ing place. I'm never coming back to this GD f-ing place because I only get bent over & f-ed in the ass. It was classic. I even let loose on the idiot after he said something like "look where the chips are" & told him to shut his damn mouth because he shouldn't have even been in the f-ing hand in the first place.

And 30 minutes later I was laughing about it. I still left there broke but at least I had a story.

So, now that my live bankroll is now non-existant I think I'll make like Waffles & Klopzi & take a nice, long break. I've still got money on Stars & I'll try not to tilt all that away. Hell, I might even donate to you guys tonight at the MATH & Wednesday at the Mook.

You guys take care. I need to go lower my blood pressure again. :)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Main Event: WSOP Pt. 3

I wake up after a near-sleepless night around 9:00. Took my time getting ready then sat on the couch in the room for some "Zen" time while my wife got ready. I tried to stay calm & not think too much. With all this going through my head I stopped to think about where I was, where I was about to go, where I came from. It kind of overwhelmed me. Here was this middle-class, overweight, out of shape husband & father who qualified to play in the biggest poker tournament in the world. I had made it. Two years of dreaming came down to a couple of hours.

I cried.

I hadn't cried in a very long time but I let it out. The wife, who had never seen me really cry, came to comfort me. Don't get me wrong, I knew the world will continue to spin if I didn't cash, or win, or got knocked out on the first hand. I just took a few minutes to allow myself to be proud. Proud of what I had accomplished. There were thousands of people who would love to be where I was.

That being said I got myself together, ate breakfast, then headed to the Rio. Of course it was packed with all sorts of people meandering around the place. They wouldn't let the players in until 11:30 so we spent some time in the expo & trying to figure out who was playing that day. I knew Raymer was playing but that was it. Would he or any other name pro be at my table? There was no way of knowing 'til we sat down.

They opened the doors & I'm the first one at my table, #142, seat 5. And it's absolutely freezing in there. Wow. Where's my freakin' jacket!

The other people filter in one at a time & (thankfully?) I don't recognize any of them. There were 3 PokerStars players & one other PartyPoker player at the table. Not too bad.

Earlier in the week I had talked to a few guys who had busted out already & they reminded me to just play tight in the beginning & wait for premium hands. I had decided before I left for Vegas that with 10,000TC & 25/50 blinds I would play the first couple levels like a cash game, maybe a little looser than the norm, & see how the table reacted.

You can see the difference between the two approaches. I guess I let the influence of others overtake me because I played squeaky tight in the beginning. I believe my first dealt hand was J4o, an easy fold. I didn't get involved in any pots until about 1 hour in. I get AA UTG & raise it to 150, which was the standard. All fold. Damn. I wanted a bigger pot. Didn't feel like getting fancy yet & just limping, I still didn't know how the table would react. Better to play it safe & raise.

From here on out I don't remember a lot of specific hands, but I do remember, through the course of the day, getting KK 3 times, QQ once, JJ once, TT once, AK once, and a few small PP, 33 to 77. That's it. No AQ, AJ, KQ, QJ. Not once. I went card dead again for the most part.

I remember having 9550 at the end of the second level when the PokerStars kid in seat 2 - who I labeled as pretty weak, he had shown down some terrible holdings & wouldn't ever raise postflop - raised to 300 (blinds 50/100) from EP. I look down to see 77 & flat call. All else fold. Flop comes down K52. He puts a standard continuation bet of 300 out. I think for a second, believe he's full of poop & pop him to 950. He folds after 15 seconds. Bingo, 9550.

Nothing else really exciting happened by the dinner break, where I had 6900. The blinds were about to be 100/200/25 & I was not happy at all where I was. I decided that I was either going to double up in the next two levels or go home. I was not going to limp into Day 2 with like 5,000 or 6,000 in chips. Fuck that. I've got to give myself a chance to compete or bust.

I called a friend of mine back in H-town whose opinion I trust & talked it over with him. He pretty much agreed that I had about an hour to stay patient, then I had to start making moves. So that was the game plan after dinner. My wife asked if I was OK with that & I told her I was. I had to fight.

I wanna finish this story now but I'm about to get of work. Maybe I'll finish tonight. If not I definitely will tomorrow. Take care.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Cards Go Dead: WSOP Pt. 2

I meet my H-town friends at Caesars the next morning - Friday - for some tournament action. For those who haven't been, the Caesars tourney probably has the best structure for the price in town. For $80 you get 1500TC with one $50 rebuy/add-on for 3,000TC. Blinds start at 25-50 & increase every 40 minutes. Not bad. I decide to wait to add-on, hoping to double up early.

About 5 minutes in an early position raises to 175. I look down at AKc & reraise to 500. He goes all in & I call, looking to race & hopefully double up early. If I don't I always have the rebuy. He flips over KK, I don't improve & I rebuy. That's just the start.

I win a couple of small pots raising preflop & putting in the continuation bet post-flop with no calls. Nothing major. The break comes & I have ~4500TC. Probably around average. With the blinds becoming 200/400/25 I have to double up soon.

A few hands after the break I'm UTG with AKo. I raise to 1200 & get called by the cutoff - same guy who had KK earlier - & the BB. Flop comes T83 rainbow, BB checks & I move all in. Cutoff calls & BB folds. Cutoff shows 97h (WTF?) & of course spikes a 9 on the river & IGH WAY too early. I shake my head as I get up, tell the guy he made a horrible call & leave. Shouldn't an UTG raise get some respect? I mean, 97? Then calling a pot-sized all in with an OESD? The dude had to think he was behind. Oh well, such is the mentality of donkeys these days.

I proceed to lose another $400 over the next few hours playing 10/20 limit & 1/2 NL when I catch no cards, hit no draws, get a preflop raise called by Q-fucking-2 & a flop of QQ6. Just wasn't my day.

Long story short - and I can't remember everything else that happened - but I lost around $700 that first day at Caesars & MGM. I guess I was shell shocked at MGM because I played tighter & weaker than normal - a bad run can do that to you - which contributed to about $200 more out of my bankroll. Frustrating times. I didn't need this hit going into the Main Event. My confidence was shaken.

So I took Saturday off from poker & went to the Rio to find my buddies who were playing. The staff at the Rio woudn't let any spectators in until all the alternates had been seated, something about a fire hazard? So Mrs. Stump & I hung around the Expo a while & did a little shopping & sight-seeing.

Later that night, after the PartyPoker party at Studio 54 (I need to go off on a tangent here. We all know Mike Sexton from WPT broadcasts & PartyPoker commercials, right? He's pretty much straight-laced, sort of squarish, right? Well you should have seen him in his suit cutting a rug on the dance floor with the scantily-clad Party girls! WOW! Dude was getting down!) Mrs. Stump & I were in our room about to hit the sack when one of my friends from H-town calls & tells me AJ is second in chips with 65k.

The wife & I get dressed & head to the Rio to check out my boy. We finally find him - yes, they let spectators in by then - & he tells me he's back down to 45k, a result of running unsuccessful bluffs a few times. So I sweat him for about an hour - along with Phil Ivey, John Juanda, & Eric "Rizen" Lynch - before heading to bed. AJ ended the night with about 46k but didn't make it thru Day 2.

Wifey & I headed to bed, where I don't think I slept but 2 hours thinking about what was about to happen. Playing in the biggest tournament of my life, let alone the poker world. Overwhelming. But I'll get to that next time. Until then take care.

Monday, August 07, 2006


...figured out how to link to some of you guys! Woohoo! I'm not an idiot!

More later....

WSOP Recap: Arriving in Vegas

So we land in Vegas & catch the cab to MGM. Check into the room, put our bags up, & start looking for Party Poker reps, but none can be found. Screw it, let's go roaming for a while.

We head down to "Restaurant Row" & have lunch at Nathan's. Famous for hot dogs, I have chicken fingers, of course. And they were awesome. And what the hell happened to cheap pricing for food in Vegas?! Holy hell! The wife & I set aside $100 a day for food & we blew through it everyday. Whoa! No fancy dining for us.

We finally find some Party reps at the Welcome Party. I inquired as to why our packages of goodies weren't in the room. They reminded me that they needed the signed release form from me before they could give us the goodies. Oops! Took the release form to the front desk & they said they would bring it to our room sometime that evening since there were so many. Cool.

To kill time we head to the Rio so I can get my Table & Seat assignment. When we get there we check out the Poker Lifestyle Expo in the large room right next to the Amazon Room. All I can say about the Expo is WOW. Every internet room you've heard of & some you haven't had boothes. And the girls...man o man. Scantily clad women everywhere. So much so that my wife was getting a little jealous, er, disgusted. I could spend a whole post on the Bodog booth. Wow.

While there I saw TJ Cloutier, Dutch Boyd, Johnny Chan, Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy, Vince & Dick Van Patten, and various other pros. I've never really been one to "stargaze" but hey, I'm a fan, and I get a kinda thrill seeing some of these players in person.

After getting my assignments I ran into both of my friends from Houston that won seats to the Main Event, Tommy & AJ. They had both registered & were scheduled to play on Day 1(b), or Saturday, the day before me. Spent some time catching up & discussing what we were doing the next day (Friday). We decided to play the 12:00 Caesars tournament then play some cash later.

The wife & I left our friends & ate at the Tilted Kilt while watching the Carnival festivities above us. Pretty cool stuff.

From the Rio we went back to the MGM where our goodies still weren't in the room yet. I called the front desk & they told me that there were so many to hand out they couldn't get to them all. They'd have to bring them by tomorrow starting at 9:00. Cool. The wife & I turned in early for the long day following.

I'll get into the poker playing & my start of dead cards next time. Take care.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Home, Unfortunately

Sorry it's been so long since the last post. I didn't have a laptop & had no internet connections anywhere. Now that I'm home - & currently at work, dammit - I can start to update everyone.

Just let me start by saying I had an incredible time. I will definitely come back next year whether I qualify for the Main Event or not. I just LOVE that damn city.

In the cash games I was completely card dead the first 3 days I was there & was down almost $1,000, which is a lot for a low-limit dude like me. Luckily I won over half of that back the next to last day I was there. I'll get into details at a later time.

Tha Main Event was fun, even if I didn't make it out of Day 1. What an experience. I know what to do & how to play the next time I'm in this situation - a big buy-in event with lotsa chips & long blind levels. And my "next time" might not be that far away. Again, more on that later.

I just wanted to check in & let everyone know I wasn't MIA or KIA. I'll post more, probably tonight or tomorrow. Take care & I'll check in later.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Time to Go

Well fellas, this is it. In less than 12 hours I'll be in the air heading to America's Playground, the great city of Las Vegas. Damn, I don't think I'll sleep tonight.

The news I wanted to share with everyone from the last post is this: The fine - and insane - gentlemen from WickedChopsPoker have decided to sweat lil ole me for the Main Event. If anyone has read them you know they are very talented & demented writers of one of my favorite blogger sites. They also had an email "contest" for Main Eventers, with 5 winners being profiled & "sweated" during the tournament. Well, I was one of the lucky ones. I'm definitely looking forward to meeting those guys. So if you're interested in my progress be sure to check there.

I've signed up for PocketFivesLive.com & will be tracked there, too.

I want to thank all you guys for your support & encouragement...it means a great deal to me. I'll try to update when I can, as I don't own a laptop, but I hear all the site's suites have laptops so maybe it won't be so bad.

Since I'm staying at the MGM I will frequently haunt their poker room. And I know that place is a favorite of Miami Don & Carmen. So if you guys happen to read this & they don't, please let them know that if a short, buzz-cutted, burger-bellied guy walks up & introduces himself as "Stump" or "SugarLand Stump", it's me. And if you can name the restaurant where Carmen works leave me a comment. I'd really like to meet the people whose blogs I read damn near every day. Thanks guys.

I'll talk to you guys later & wish me luck! Take care! Viva Las Vegas! WOOHOO!!!!!