Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Still Alive

Don't want anyone to think this blog is dying. Well, it has been for the past month. Sorry for not posting this earlier but between getting engaged and being really busy at work - it seems all the creativity and energy I had previously to devote to this blog has been sucked out of me.
I still love poker and have had a chance to play a bit this year - but not as much as I'd like.
I'm stuck in a three day meeting this week - so I won't be able to attend the WPBT at Stars tomorrow - but I'll be strongly represented by my brother. Say hi to him if you see him tomorrow, he'll be playing under my account - gpoker.
Also - I hope to participate in the NY Blogger tourney this Saturday with Pauly and the NY crew. I'm sure there will be a good story or two to come of that...

Anyways - I promise to catch you all up on what's been going on in my life soon. Both in poker and other things...

Good Luck to everyone in the WPBT tomorrow!


Friday, January 07, 2005

New Year's Vacation Ramblings

Well, 2005 has finally come - amazing how fast the years go by. It's been roughly a year and a few months since I started playing poker seriously and this blog is now 9 months old...
I'm actually surprised that both have lasted so long - but especially the fact that it's been almost a year and I'm still writing occasionally to you all.
I've been out in Colorado visiting my family for the first week of the new year. Of course, since both my brother and father have caught the poker bug - this doesn't mean I'm taking time away from the game.

In fact - since the WPBT in December - I feel reenergized and reinvigorated about this great game we all love. It helps that I've had a few nice runs of cards coupled with a move up to 2/4 limit on a consistent basis where the players (and the game) are much more interesting.
I've managed to build the UB bankroll to a place that comfortably supports this - and will soon begin moving more of my action to Party (as well as a portion of my bankroll) as soon as I clear the rest of my UB bonus.

Also I've recently picked up copies of Matthew Hilger's Internet Texas Hold'em (thanks Ammon) and Dan Harrington's new book Harrington on Hold'em.
Reviews of both are forthcoming - but let me just say that Hilger's book is a solid treatise for the beginning player and contained quite a few insights that I found useful.
Harrington's book is excellent - for you bloggers and players out there, that are at an intermediate level - it's a great book that details not just the plays but the rationale for plays in NL Hold'em. I can't say enough about it here - but I will post some more later on both books.

Well - not much more to say here - I'll be headed up to the Lodge in Central City, Colorado either tonight or tomorrow to try to avenge my losses the past two trips in the wild and crazy $5-$5 games.

Speaking of wild and crazy - following is the first entry on this blog by my brother from the Vegas trip the weekend of the WPBT. This concludes my Vegas stories - and hopefully will not be the last contribution by my brother - who may turn out to be the best poker player in the family... (or maybe just the luckiest)

Please enjoy it - it's a good story, everytime I read it - I wish I had stayed just one more day in Vegas.

ps - On a personal note - I proposed to my girlfriend (the ORIGINAL GotP) on New Year's Eve and she, after some deliberation, actually accepted. Talk about going 'all in'... (whew)
2005 has started (at least for me) on the best of notes.

The Orleans (By The Brother of The GotP)

The last time I saw my brother (before the weekend in Vegas) was Thanksgiving. For the past year every encounter and talk with him has been dominated by poker.

Since last X-Mas when he forced me to open up an account on Ultimate Bet and then proceeded to xfer $150 into it; I have become somewhat of a poker addict. (ed note: yeah - I FORCED him)
Poker has absolutely consumed my life, and greatly contributed to workplace inefficiency for me, as I spend precious work time reading various poker blogs and forums throughout the day.

When he told me he would be playing in the WPBT on Dec 11th, I was jealous to say the least. Going to vegas is bad enuff; but the opportunity to meet and play with the blogger community...well, I was happy for him, yet extremely envious at the same time.

Even though I myself am not a blogger; after reading blogs all day-everyday you start to feel a connection or sense of comraderie thru their writing. Kinda like the 15 year old girl in Singapore that I've been e-maili...uhhh...nevermind. (ed note: more like 13 - and gender is still indeterminate)

To make a long story short, an unexpected chain of events occurred and I had a ticket for Vegas from Fri 12/10 to Sun 12/12 (thanks, Cuz), along with a $1000 bankroll to hit the 6/12 tables at the Mirage and the 8/16 tables at the Bellagio.

I had planned all along on checking out the WPBT tourny sat morn; but when I awoke still drunk sat morn...I knew it was just not to be.

Fast Forward. As i arrived at McCarron Airport for my 7pm flight back to Denver I did a quick audit. I was up $700+ in poker, down a little over $300 in craps and blackjack, but more importantly I had only spent about 12 hours at the poker table. WTF?!? That was my whole point of coming out to Vegas!

Speaking of spending, somehow I managed to spend less than $200 in alcohol, food, taxis, and "entertainment" over the weekend. (Mas, Lolo, and brother of Lolo...I think I owe a bar tab next time). 10 shots of Crown Royal, anyone?

Anyway, as luck would have it, my flight back was overbooked. The good news though...there's a direct flight to Denver @ 11PM, and I'd arrive in Denver @ 1:30AM. Great...but what time is it now, 7pm?

That means I can: A. stay at the airport for another 4 hours or B. taxi it to the Mirage, wait 30 min for a table, play for an hour and change, and then taxi it back to the airport for my flight. Yeah...that ain't gonna work.

In comes Option C. "Uh...hi. I've been put on a direct flight to Denver leaving at 11pm, but there's no way I can get a ride on such short notice @ 1:30AM (lie), and I live 65 miles from Denver (another lie)."

"No problem sir. We can put you on the first flight in the morning. Leaves @ 9AM, and we'll get you a room in Vegas for the nite".


Immediately I call my brother.
"I'm staying another nite. Got a room @ the Emerald Suites. Right next to the Orleans. You in or you out. If you're in, I'll be at the Mirage in 30 minutes. If you're out, have a safe trip and I'll talk to you tomm."

My brother, being the "responsible" one, declined tho; so off I was to the Orleans. (ed note: I was THIS close to staying the extra day - I even ended up calling in 'sick' from home on Monday - but I had such a great weekend - one more night wasn't going to make much of a difference to me)

The Orleans spreads 2/4, 4/8 half blinds/half kill, and 6/12 half kill (at least that nite).

I played 4/8 for about 30minutes before my name was called for the 6/12 game.

Now I'm not the smartest man in the world (ed note: an UNDERstatement)...but how this half kill game on a 6/12 turns into 10/20 is beyond me. 6*1.5=9, and 12*1.5=18, right? (ed note: my brother - the college graduate... community college that is)

So 9/18, right? Apparently not.

Anyway, here I am playing a full, typical 6/12 ring game with what appears to be about 1/2 tourists and 1/2 locals. I play for a few hours and after suffering a few bad beats, getting caught against dominated hands, and dragging down some pots...I'm down about $150.

Players start leaving, as it's now 2AM or so and we're down to 7.

Suddenly, a woman stumbles over to the table, obviously drunk and freshly reloaded with what appears to be (insert liquor) and Coke.

"What are we playing here, boys? Some 6/12 with a half-kill? Well, I'm gonna be the KILLER!!!".

To which Local #1 an older gentleman who's been playing very rockishly grins and says "Please, by all means."

Everyone at the table (myself included) immediately look at each other and you can just see all of us suckers salivating on the inside and trying our best to hold back enormous grins.

First hand. Folded to drunk girl. RAISE! She's got Pocket QQ and they hold up against 2 callers.

Second Hand. Limp, Limp, action on drunk girl. RAISE!

Drunk girl wins pot uncontested on the river.

I could go on describing the next 12 or 13 hands....but for the sake of brevity let's just say drunk girl raised or re-raised every single pot pre-flop. And then she'd follow that up by betting, raising or re-raising every flop and turn.

In fact, when she was first to act she would bet in the dark. Of these first 15 hands or so...drunk girl took down about 10 of them. Some of them being 10/20 kill pots. By this time she's up at least $500...thankfully only about 25 of it is mine.

You could just see the frustration building up in the other players. Her aggression turned the rest of the table upside down.

The fact that she'd exclaim "Well, I played that hand like a little boy, didn't I?", after showing down a hand where she was both the victor and the aggressor probably didn't help either.

After 30 minutes, 3 players had left shaking their heads in absolute disbelief. So, now we're down to 4. Drunk girl, me, tight-aggressive Asian player from Canada, and old guy. I'm now down close to $200, but decide to stay as I know I will get action and can turn this session around.

I'm also thinking...drunk girl might not be so drunk...and although the word call is not in her vocabulary...she is actually making some laydowns (post-flop of course) and is otherwise absolutely running over the table.

Or as she had so eloquently prophecized... she was being the killer. Now I've read and re-read "Killer of Poker". (ed note: I think he means Vorhaus' book Killer Poker - he doesn't need to read this)

It's easily one of my favorite books on poker. I believe raise or fold....calling is for suckers. I also know, as much as my brother and father think that I'm a maniac...I am not. (ed note: my brother IS a maniac)

Drunk girl is a maniac...and she's doing a damn good job at it.

However, we're now down to four.

I can't justify cold calling 3 bets or re-raising to 4 bets with A-10 when there's 7 players....but now we're down to 4.

Time to open up, play my game, and let the chips fling into the pot. Down to four. I'm in seat 2. Asian-Canadian in seat 4. Old guy in seat 6. Drunk-girl in seat 8.

Asian-Canadian has just drove 22 hours straight and is in the hole at least $400. He's buying in with twenties now...so I think he's gonna play more conservatively....as I don't think he got much more to make the trip last.

Old guy is probably also down a few hundred and seems to be playing just for the sake of playing. He plays tight, but he's also passive.

My plan is to try to isolate drunk girl with paint and see more flops.

In a kill game with 2 players, old-guy and drunk girl. Old guy catches the nut flush on the river. No pair on the board, no straight flush possibilities. Drunk girl bets (TPTK, I Believe).

Old guy calls.

"WTF?!? How come you diidn't raise? You had the NUTS!!!" says Asian-Canadian.

"She wouldn't have called even if I raised, so why bother?" says old guy.

To which I reply, "You're right, she wouldn't call. She hasn't called all nite. She might've raised you though!"

Drunk girl smiles and shakes her head laughing. Orders another drink.

A few hands later we're in a kill pot. I'm the BB. Drunk girl posts $10, as she is the "killer". Asain-Canadian calls. Old guy calls. Drunk girl raises (surprise, surprise). I call and everyone else follows.

Flop comes 8 9 2 rainbow. Drunk girl bets. I call (10 J). everyone else calls.

Turn comes 4, no flush draw. Drunk girl bets, I raise, seat 4 and 6 fold. drunk girl re-raises. I call. (ed note: what the hell - why didn't you just cap? Maniac...)

River comes 5. Drunk girl bets. I raise. Drunk girl re-raises.

I debate calling. (Why am I even considering calling? Is there a conceivable hand that she can hold, that I have a winner with Jack high? Why waste the $20? I already misplayed the hand. Cut your losses...stoopid!)

I begrudgingly call. (ed note: not just a maniac but now a calling station)

Drunk girl looks in disgust and says, "You've got me. I missed my draw."

Shows 10 7 and mucks.

I proudly show my J 10 and say "yeah...I missed too".

The rest of the table goes in an uproar. They're both looking at me like they wanna kill me. Obviously they had my J 10 high beat on the turn when I raised and pushed them out. ooops.

Next thing I know it's 5am. I got a plane to catch in 4 hours...and I'm supposed to go to work when I get to Denver. I look around and it's still just the 4 of us....but now I notice there's actually people standing around the table just watching this crazy game.

I get dealt J 8 UTG. Call. Seat 4 and 6 also call. Drunk girl raises. Everyone calls.

Flop comes 9 10 4 rainbow. seat 6 (old guy) bets. drunk girl raises. i call. seat 2 folds.

Turn is a 2, still rainbow. old guy checks. drunk girl bets. i call. old guy calls.

River is a queen. drunk girl bets, i raise. old guy folds.

Drunk-girl ponders...says "Hmmmm....J-8?".

"Raise or fold" I tell her.

She looks at me, "Re-Raise!".

I pretend to think....I'm pretty sure she doesn't have K J for the nut straight. "Re-Raise".

She peeks back at her cards..."Re-Raise".

Now i"m not so sure....maybe she does have K-J. Either way I can't get away from this hand so....


She looks at the dealer..."Is it capped yet?".

Dealer says, " Heads-Up...Unlimited Raises."

Drunk girl decides to call for the first time all nite, I show my straight and she flips over two pair, Queens and Tens.

We continue playing until 6am when old guy leaves penniless.

I decide to also pack it in as i"m now up close to $400 for the session and ready to call it a nite...or a morning. I've never witnessed anyone (man or woman) play as aggressive as drunk girl in a live game...or an online game for that matter.

I did overhear her tell a gentleman (the poker manager, I believe), that she had just come back from playing a tourney at the Bellagio. I wondered to myself if she had been playing in the 4 diamonds tourney (ed note: I think he means Five Diamonds...) and was just blowing off steam, slumming in our 6/12 game at the Orleans. Regardless, Asian-Canadain and drunk girl decided to play heads-up, and I left wishing them both good luck.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Post X-mas Ramblings

Well the last part of my Vegas trip report is finally up. (see below)

Sorry it took so long, writing for me needs momentum and as soon as I got back adjusted to my normal non-Vegas life - there just didn't seem enough time to properly complete the report.

Stay tuned for a Vegas story from my brother - who stayed the extra night and ran into quite a table at the Orleans on Sun nite/Mon morning.

It's a pretty good story. (I promise)

I've been running good recently - playing a lot of UB limit, working off my bonus dollars. It seems my game has been revitalized and I really think I've got my game out of the muck.
It's fun to play again - and I find myself even making reads on my opponents hands now that I'm paying attention again.

For instance, I flopped two pair, checkraised the flop, saw a Q on the turn, and when the caller bet at me - I instantly knew he had hit the higher 2 pair.
However - I needed to know if I had it right - so I called him down! :)

Seriously - I've been running good - and it feels like I've made a leap in limit. Not sure what the difference is in my game - but I'll be putting it to the test online for the next few days.

See you at the tables.

Vegas - WPBT Holiday Classic Weekend - Day 2 (cont.)

So I'm back at the Mirage in my room - lying down, trying to figure out if I can get any sleep in this town. My friends are just waking up from an afternoon nap and decide to go check out the buffet. Well - actually I hadn't eaten a thing all day - and maybe this would help me sleep...
After the buffet - I saunter by the poker room and find my brother grinding away at the 6-12 game. It looks kind of good - and he's up a few hundred.
I speak to him - and though I'm having trouble standing up - the fever strikes me. I want to play some poker. I check the list - and there's no wait for a 10/20 seat?

Impulsively - I lock it up.

10/20 isn't my normal game - I've played it before at the Borgata - but 6/12 is a more comfortable game for me and the 8/16 at Bellagio is a great game...

Tonight the room's pretty crowded - and I think I've just caught a lucky break as they must've just opened a 10/20 game and cleared out the list.

I buy a rack of red and sit down in the 3s.

The first thing I notice is that the guy on my left has a huge stack of chips. There are some other big stacks at the table as well. This definitely isn't a 6/12 game.

Before I can really settle in I see KQs in SB. I call and and two others see the flop. I hit my K on the flop and bet it. And am promptly raised by the next player, while the following player calls 2 bets cold.

I'm thinking I should get out of the hand. But I call.

The turn is a blank. Meekly I check it. The raiser bets out and the next player calls.

I should just call to see the turn - but I don't know what comes over me - I check raise.

The raiser re-raises - and the caller calls the next 2 bets cold also.

Yikes! I call the reraise. And the river is an Ace...

This time I check it, the reraiser bets, and the cold caller raises.

I muck disgusted at myself.

The reraiser shows K9o (huh?) and the cold caller shows AQ for the pot.


This was the order of the day - as this table was littered with about 3 or 4 raise'em up players.

I was soon to find out that the gentleman to left - a very aggressive British player (and nice guy) was even more frisky.

I mean - I was seeing check raises galore on this table - and not necessarily with hands. Many times I saw one of the maniac/foxes, get into a reraising war on the flop, check-raise the turn, then follow up with a river bet - and when they were called down - simply muck.

Without even seeing the other players cards!

Thrown a bit off balance with what I was seeing - and thankfully a rather poor run of cards - I was content to fold and watch in fascination. Was it possible to put any of these guys on a hand?

Perhaps I got a bit too tight, because the maniac/fox british guy to my left commented to me:
"You're a very patient man."

To which I smiled and simply told him he'd be patient too if he saw the cards I was getting.
But I stopped myself halfway - because - who was I kidding - this guy plays almost any 2 seemingly at a whim...

I wasn't sure if we were going to get along or not - when I came into a pot (finally) with KJ.
"uh oh!" the brit on my left exclaimed to the table.

I hate it when someone starts announcing stuff about me to a table - like how tight I am or whenever I check raise - I've got the nuts...
But thinking about it - if players begin adjusting to your play - you can just adjust yours in response. Of course - that's the tricky part...

Anyways I was slightly annoyed with this comment by the Brit. Of course he called anyway.
One other person took the flop - and it came J-8-x.

I bet it out. The brit raised me. The other caller folded.

Knowing that a flop raise from my friend on my left didn't really mean anything (and wanting to raise) I called. (chicken that I am)

The turn was a K.

Top two pair for me. I bet it out. Brit predictably raises. I ponder for a sec and re-raise.
Now the Brit pauses. "You're using your reputation." he tells me.
"Well - it's gonna work." I reply glibly.

He calls my turn re-raise. When I bet the river (another blank) - he looks at me, calls, and when I show him top two - he mucks...

Not sure what he had. (later he would tell me he had Kx)

After this hand - the brit (Glen - I would later find out his name - a really nice guy) went on a hot streak with his any 2 - and started killing the rest of the table.

When he left on breaks, the other side of the table would start muttering how the game was dying (some of the other maniacs had left for a new 20/40 game) with him out.
And when he would return they would clam up and wait for hands they could gouge huge pieces out of his stack.
Alas it was not to be for them. My new British friend, Glen (we began chatting amiably) was hitting cards - two pairs, straights, and baby flushes (he almost always was playing weird low cards like T8s or even 56s). He must've folded any paint he saw - cause he was rarely showing down any...

Meanwhile I played pretty tight - and my buddy Glen seemed to be sucking out on everyone EXCEPT me. Which was nice - because while he took everyone else's chips - I would play a hand and grab a nice chunk out of his stack.

I had a real interesting hand when I got a chance to see a flop from the SB with 43o. I hit a pair (bottom of course) on the flop. Glen of course bet it out - and as there were 3 or 4 other callers - I decided to make a bad call. (the second one this hand)

I hit two pair on the turn.

This time when Glen bet - one of the opportunists spotting a chance to score on him raised (probably with top pair). Someone called 2 bets cold - and I gleefully (inside) made it 3 bets.

Glen of course - made it 4 bets. Called by both and capped by me.
(I am aware that I could've been behind in this hand - but I just had a feeling I was good based on the play at this table)

The river gave me a full house with another 3.

Glen bet. One caller. A folder. And I raised again.

Both Glen and the other player look at me. I smile for them.

They both call and I flip up 43o for a huge pot!

"I did NOT put you on that hand" Glen says in amazement.
"Well you know" I told him. "Watching you has loosened me up!"

Things only got crazier when a kid - "J" sat down to my right.

This kid immediately started firing at pots upon sitting down. He actually caught some cards and built a little stack - but I wasn't really impressed as the kid had a few habits that I wouldn't recommend for a poker player.

For example if J got heads up in a pot (which he did often - as we took turns isolating), and was in position (last to act), he would sometimes hold the chips in his hand (for a call) and reach them into the pot as the first person was deciding what to do.

I NEVER once, when he did this, saw him either raise if the first person bet, or fold. He always called. And if the first person didn't bet and checked - he always bet.
Interestingly - it seemed his goal in this practice was to be able to fling the chips into the pot at the same time as the bettor.

Also - upon reaching the river I witnessed him multiple times tell people what he had. For example he was in a pot with a tough old lady (she was real aggressive) - who was calling him down the whole way. "I have an Ace!" (for top pair) J said confidently as he bet.

"I don't believe you!" the TOL replied as she raised him.

J just called (interestingly enough) and sure enough he showed an ace and took the pot.

He used this tactic many times - and to my memory - he wasn't lying once. And I only saw a few instances where his opponent actually believed him.

J (the kid) was getting pretty drunk, although he was actually pretty friendly (in a drunk way) and as he was on my right, and Glen (the brit) was on my left - I was pretty happy that I got along with both of them.
(Those poker-table alliances - they can save you quite a bit of money...)

Especially since they seemed to go to war every few hands...

Quite a few times they got into flop and turn raising wars, often pushing the best hands out of the pot! (yes - they made me lay down winners quite a few times)

It was pretty crazy, watching queen high or bottom pair take pretty decent size 10/20 pots...

Eventually, J (the kid) lost his stack - rebought, lost it again, rebought - and then built up a huge stack when he got on a run. It wasn't to last though.

To make my long story short however - I went pretty much card dead at the end. Although at my peak I was up about $500 - it bled away in a continuing adventure in missed flops and rivered hands. (which I will not detail)

Around 4am the table was still full, though the room was dying. I was having trouble seeing - and apparently (according to the dealer) had been making unconscious checking motions (pounding my fists on the felt).

I decided it was time to leave. No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for me...

But I had a lot of fun - basically broke even. And I resisted J's pleading for me to stick around and play another hour. (did he think I was a sucker?)

(side note: worst decision of the weekend for me. Ran into Glen on Sunday - and he told me the kid burned off his whole stack (almost $1K at the time) in the next hour. Surely - I would've gotten a piece...)

When I got up to my room - I noticed my friend "lolo" passed out on the bed. I say "noticed" because he was fully clothed and still had his shoes on. Looked like I wasn't the only one who had a rought day.

I passed out almost immediately upon hitting the bed.

Day 3 - Return Home?

Sunday did not start until check out time around 2pm for me. Though I had woken at 9am and tried to convince someone to go down to the book, get the lines, and place bets for me - they all looked at me groggily like I was crazy.
I vaguely remember considering going down to the book myself - but my memory goes black from here.

After checking out, and stashing my bags - I briefly considered going out to meet the rest of the bloggers at Mandalay. But the early games were ending - I didn't have any action on the late games - and I hadn't seen my cousin (who's a big Steeler fan) all weekend and we had planned to watch the Jets - Steelers game together.

Well - the game sucked - and I'll just leave it at that. If ever a game suspiciously looked like it was fixed...

Before I knew it I was back in the poker room, killing off the last few hours before my flight. I played at a pretty passive 6/12 table - it was friendly, but a little too passive for my taste.

For example - I pushed at a pot with two aces on the flop and picked up a caller. Couldn't defintely put him on the ace - and when I paired the turn - I bet it and he called.

The third ace came on the river.

I bet. And the other player called.

I flipped up my house - figuring that I had won the pot - when the caller showed...
the fourth ace!
He flopped three aces, rivered the nuts and NEVER raised.

I just laughed.

Well time flies in a poker room - and it was time to go before I knew it. I briefly considered staying another night. I even went so far as to confirm that I could change my flight at no fee (thanks JetBlue) and book another night at the Mirage for a paltry $99...

Ok, I considered this for a looooooong time...

My brother's flight got canceled and though he could've taken a later flight, he conned the airlines into giving him a free room and a flight out tomorrow. He didn't put any pressure on me to stay - but it almost seemed like destiny to me that I was to stay and play another day.

But responsibility took hold - what clinched if for me was that it had been such a great weekend. I don't think I could've had more fun (although I could've made more money). It was a great experience and a weekend I'll remember for a long time.

I decided not to push my luck. Vegas would still be here for me another day.

And I'll be back - you can bet on that.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

December Bonus Whoring

I've finally settled in to the groove back in good ol' NYC.
Vegas doesn't seem that long ago - but it's long enough that I no longer hear phantom slot machine jingling everywhere I go.

Haven't done a lick of X-Mas shopping - but actually - I really only have one important gift - and I can take care of my family when I visit them in the New Year. (Procrastination is fun!)

Anyways, final trip reports from Vegas are almost ready - and I even convinced my brother to write up his last day - which was a pretty good story. He's hoping to get a few posts up on GotP so he can qualify for the next blogger tourney...

In the meantime, I've taken advantage of some of the December re-deposit bonuses on UB and Party. Actually I did this in a kind of sneaky way.

First off I withdrew a bunch of funds from my UB account. Then I redeposited that money on Party for their 20% redeposit bonus. Then I took $200 out of Party and redeposited that on UB for their 50% bonus. Can you say free $$$?

So last night, I was busy 2 tabling Party to work off my bonus (since there's a time limit). I played some basic 1/2 - playing pretty tight. On one table, I couldn't hit a hand - and I languished down about 20BB or more for most of the night.
On the other I was hot - every time it seemed I entered a hand I hit it - and there were always a few players left in the pot to pay off my 2 pair, straight or flush.

It was an odd dynamic - on the table I was running good - I could buy small pots by continuing to fire at them, getting respect from the other players if they didn't have a good piece.
Yet on the other - the same strategy would backfire - as someone would call down my Ace-high or even check raise me on the river with bottom pair!

I really feel that your table image online has a lot to do with how you happen to be running that particular session. If you're hitting hands and winning pots - people don't want to mess with you. But if your missing flops, getting outdrawn, and losing - no one seems to believe it when you bet.
Wonder if anyone else has noticed this phenomenon?

Anyways - all told I ended up even on my cold table when I finally hit some hands and took a few good size pots at the end of the session. On my 'hot' table - I continued to run over the table to the tune of +50BB.
And I cleared my bonus in one night!

Next is the UB bonus - and I'm planning on playing a bunch of 2/4 and $100NL ring games in the forthcoming month. I'm also going to finally give in and purchase Poker Tracker and start to track my play on Party.

The WPBT has reinvigorated my game - and for that I'm thankful.

On a side note - someone pulled a nice move on me in a tournament the other night that I'd like to share. It was a small NL tourney on UB - I was coasting along with an average stack, as the blinds began to move up to 25/50 (I had about 1300).

I catch AQ on the BB, everyone folds to the SB, who limps for 50.

I raise from the BB to 150. SB calls.

The flop is a harmless 4-7-9 rainbow.

The SB bets the minimum. I think about re-raising but as I haven't hit my hand - I check (coward!) and look for another card.

The turn is a T.

The SB bets the minimum again. I'm wondering if he's hit something or if my two overcards are still good. I know I should probably raise here - but I decide I want to see another card and just call.

The river is a Q.

TPTK. The SB bets the minimum a third time.

Aha! I caught him. Of course I raise the pot getting ready for him to fold.

He reraises me (twice my pot bet).

Now if I call this re-raise - I basically have to go all-in. And about half my stack is already in the pot. Not sure if my hand is good, but I think it is. And I'm pot-committed, right?

I go all-in.

He calls.

He show 4-4 for the flopped trips.


I just thought it was a nicely played hand by the SB. He could've easily induced a bluff with his flop and turn min bets. And he let me catch help and pot commit myself on the river.

Admittedly - I think I'd get away from this hand were my stack deeper. Also - I can't say I was giving my full concentration to this tourney.

But I thought it was a pretty nice move by the SB. (at my expense) Thought I'd share it.

*** Just received my WPBT jacket from CheckNRaise. Can I say that I am extremely impressed. The jacket is beautiful... Anyone else get theirs?
I still haven't opened an account there - but I plan to check it out. From what I've observed so far - the software is pretty solid. More to come...


Friday, December 17, 2004

WPBT Holiday Classic Interlude - (Origins of Genius of the Poker)

Thanks to the WPBT Holiday Classic aftermath (an explosion of trip reports on the various blogs) - readership of every and even this humble blog is at an all time high. So I figured this would be as good a time as any to explain the name of this poker blog.

While in Vegas, quite a few poker bloggers referred to me as the 'poker genius'.

Now - I'm not one to lack for confidence but I don't think I've ever been accused of delusions of self-grandeur. (okay maybe once or twice..)

I do not think of myself as a genius - in poker and actually come to think of it - not really in anything.

Anyways - on with the story - for some background, my girlfriend, Y, is Japanese. So am I for that matter - but she was born there - and I'm fourth-generation Japanese-American by way of Hawaii-California-and finally NYC where I was born.

Her English is fine (much better than my broken Japanese). Sometimes we have some communication issues - but mostly they tend to be humor-related - and lots of English speaking people have problems with my sense of humor as well...

So the story takes place earlier this year. I'm in full blown poker-fever - and for that matter so are quite a few of my friends. Frequently we've been getting together and ending up at a friend's apartment to play single table NL tournaments. (with $20 buyins)

Not wanting her to sit on the side when this happens (and certainly not wanting to miss these tourneys) - I start to teach her how to play poker.

She's a pretty quick study - and starts to beat the computer opposition on Hoyle's Casino software on a regular basis. So I get her started on Turbo Texas Hold'em - and she seems to start doing pretty well with that too. (a prodigy?)

So I bring her over to the next game after a week or so of practice.

She holds her own. In fact she MORE than holds her own.

I'm not sure if the deck ran her over - or if she had everyone off balance - but she ends up placing in 3 of the 4 tourneys and winning 2 outright!

In one game - she was one of the last 3 - with two of my friends (both hyper-aggressive) duking it out - with huge raises back and forth. She simply patiently waited biding her time - folding until she found a hand worth playing.

My friends built a pot (as usual) and Y just called. Seemingly unaware of the monster Y was holding my friends continue to push at the pot, raising, re-raising, and then stop in utter shock as Y - goes all-in.

She's got a monster - and ends up knocking them both out on this hand - much to the delight of all the spectators.

By the end of the night - she's had fun, has most of our money in her pocket - and I'm equally happy because it looks like poker will no longer be a 'bad' word in our house.

We hop in a cab with a friend - and are on our way home.

Y, is still bathing in victorious exultation. My friend and I continue to compliment her on her play.

Suddenly she bursts out. "I am the Genius of THE Poker!"

A few minutes later after my friend and I stop holding our stomachs from laughing so hard I reassure her.

"Yes you are, honey. Yes you are..."


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Vegas - WPBT Holiday Classic Weekend - Day 2

The alarm goes off at 9am...

My wake up call rings at 9:15...

the alarm buzzes again at 9:30.

Finally I sit up in bed, still drunk - having seemingly blinked rather than slept. I'm still drunk, my head is muddled - and there's a room service tray parked in front of my bed with some half eaten food on it.

How the hell did that get there?

Everyone else is snoring away as I trudge off to the shower and try to cleanse myself of the previous night's festivities.
They wake up and moan as I get dressed - and then start laughing when I tell them that I'm headed off to the blogger tourney... still semi-intoxicated.

Just for the spite of it - I open the shades letting in the abundant Vegas sun, just to hear them scream before I stumble off to my cab. (heh heh)

Sam's Town is a long long ride off the strip. By the end of the ride I'm contemplating making a quick stop to (ahem) unload the previous night's poison. Hazy memories of ten shots of Crown Royal (I believe there was a special) begin to make me nauseous.

As I wander around the casino - I'm struck with the fact that I have NO IDEA where the breakfast is to be held. I walk all around the floor looking for the room until I realize the meeting rooms are upstairs. Thankfully I run into Pauly, Derek and Maudie and find the poker breakfast - where I see Charlie Shoten, Ron Rose, Tom McEvoy, Marcel Luske and various unknown bloggers chatting away at the tables.

I head directly for the coffee - throw it down as quickly as I can, try to get my bearings - and walk over to where Marcel is having a conversation with Felicia and Glenn. (who look wide-eyed and bushy tailed)

Marcel stops his conversation with them to look at me, shake my hand, and exchange introductions. What a nice guy!

I have to admit I could only understand half of what he was saying - what with coming into the middle of his conversation, my addled state, and his dutch accent. But whatever he was talking about - I was acting really interested.

Eventually the other bloggers started straggling in. I'm relieved to see various states of bedraggledness, I'm not the only one coming in from a LONG night...

I have some nice conversations with Charlie, introduce myself to Tom, but mostly spend time speaking to many of the other bloggers present. Besides those I had met the previous night - I get to meet Linda (from Poker Works), Bill Rini, Grubby, and last but certainly not least Joe the Poker Prof and the Las Vegas Vegas crew.

We then heard a speech from Charlie Shoten about his new book: No Limit Life - which sounds really interesting about his newfound philosophy on life and poker. I'll definitely pick up a copy, I thought Charlie was quite a character and a real nice guy (more on this later).

While Charlie was speaking some other pros arrived - Evelyn Ng, Kiril Gerasmov and Max Pescatori (who would play in the tourney with us).

Then Tom McEvoy did a little Q&A for us about poker to which he answered questions we had about poker. I especially liked Pauly's question about getting busted with AK in tournaments and wondering if he should lay it down more often.

Tom rightfully pointed out that AK is a drawing hand albeit a powerful one (which is my take on it exactly). However to suceed in tournaments - you must win with AK as well as beat AK invariably. (foreshadowing: this was not to be the case for me. Damn you BG!)

All in all it was great fun - I just wish I was more lucid.

And I have to admit - I was a bit star-struck. I mean - poker pros are normal people - but to an avid player like myself (and other bloggers) who religiously watches any and all poker on TV they can find - these guys are my heroes.

I don't think I can express how tongue-tied and awed I was with being able to shake hands and have conversations with them about poker.

In a word: awesome.

Anyways - after the morning session we headed down to the Sam's Town poker room for the WPBT Holiday Classic. 30 entrants - 5 places paid - and everyone revved up and ready to go.
The table banter as expected was great - usually I'm pretty silent at a tournament - but not this one.
I got a terrible draw in one sense - as I drew the 5s on the"Table of Death", with Charlie Shoten in the 2s, and Max Pescatori in the 7s.

There were also fellow bloggers - Felicia Lee (the eventual champ) in the 9s, Pauly in the 6s to my left, CJ in the 8s, Daddy in the 4s, and Grubby in the 10s.

Great. It was intimidating to have drawn both pros - not to mention Felicia - but hey what the hell I was thinking - it ought to be a good story - and a great learning experience.

Things started off with Charlie Shoten, completely belying his tight reputation - firing away at many pots. He didn't make huge raises - suprisingly betting 2xBB many times - but he hit some cards and pushed his way to a relatively nice chip count.

By the time I realized what he was doing - it was too late to make plays at him - and he was showing down some really interesting hands. To some extent - I think he was messing around.

I actually did get involved in a few pots with Charlie and took down a small pot on a flop that missed me when he checked and I bet into him (praying that it wasn't a trap).

A few more small pots - and I was even feeling pretty good. Maybe I can survive and even play this table?

An interesting hand with Charlie came up when he called my BB when it was folded to him. The SB folded and I checked it to get heads up with T5o. (great hand, huh?)
The flop came 7-8-x. I figured it missed him, so when he bet 100 (the min) - I decided to call and see if I could catch my T or maybe even make a play here.

The T came on the turn.

Top pair, no kicker - but I really had the feeling that I now had the best hand. Out of the corner of my eye while I'm thinking of what to do I see Charlie bang his fist against the felt. "Is he checking?" I thought. Now I don't know if he was pulling a move on me or not - it was my turn to act - but this made up my mind. Wisely - I only mustered the courage to bet 200T into the pot.

Charlie immediately flung out a 600T raise into the pot.

Staring at the chips that represented his raise - I felt like a deer in headlights. Did he hit this flop after all? I put him on a T better kicker - or possibly J-9 for the straight.

I wasn't really thinking of calling - and Charlie cemented this thought when he quoted from his book "Your calm, your patient, and you're waiting for the right spot".

Thanks Charlie. I mucked my hand. He flipped up 7-8 for a flopped two pair. Whew...
What the hell was I doing in that hand anyway?

I had a brief moment of terror - when Charlie (with his big stack) made another raise at me a while later and I looked down at 99. Down slightly below the 2000T buy in - I pushed.
Grubby called with a smaller stack - and Charlie called as well. (think he had overcards)

Grubby had AA for the main pot - but Charlie missed the board and I took the side pot to have exactly the same amount of chips as I started the hand with..]

Thank god Grubby was short stacked.

CJ's reported the next hand of interest at Up for Poker.
But here's my take:

It was raised in front of me and I looked down at TT. I pushed all-in. CJ saw pocket 77 and pushed with his smaller stack. Then the original raiser (apologies for not remembering who this was) - kind of shrugged and called with KQ. (think I would've done the same with a chance to triple up)

CJ hit his set on the flop and was out of his chair - but I was still ahead of KQ for the side pot - and ended up with the scoop when I rivered a straight on the 78J9x board.

Sorry about that CJ.

Now I had a hold of some chips - not quite as many as Charlie and Max - who had been hitting hands and scooping pots - but I was in good shape at about 4000T.

Unfortunately I decided to get aggressive in the wrong situation.

A few hands later it folded around to me on the button. I looked down at JTo.

"Raise" I hear myself saying. I put a bet of 3xBB (900T) into the pot.

Pauly looks down at his cards, looks up at me and pushes his stack into the middle. "All-in" he calls. The BB folds and I'm staring at Pauly my face red thinking to myself - "whoops!"

Pauly starts chatting at me that he'll show me his hand if I muck. I know he's got something good - certainly better than my JTo. But I ask for a count anyway.

Pauly's all-in is about 700+T over my 900T bet. So I'm getting better than 3-1 to call.

If Pauly has AK - I'm only a 2-1 dog. Of course if he has an over pair (AA-JJ) he's more than a 4-1 favorite. And if he's got an underpair - it's a coin flip situation.

Although my instincts scream fold (Pauly's got something big) - I just can't get myself to turn down the price I'm getting. I tell Pauly that I made a mistake overbetting my hand but now that the raise is so little - I have to call.

That's not really true. In retropsect I feel I should've laid down. But I went with my gut - and listened to the gamble in my heart and made the call. What a terrible person I am to try to bust our beloved organizer with a hand like JTo!

Pauly showed the Hilton Sisters QQ - and I knew it. I was almost embarassed to flip up my cards - I couldn't even look at the faces of the rest of the table when they saw my meager holding.

An ace came on the flop - which was what Pauly was probably fearing - but no help to me. I think I hit a J giving me a glimmer of hope - but it was not to be.

Pauly ended up with a nice stack and I was now back to under 2000T with a push stack with the blinds at 150-300 and escalating.

I actually avoided getting knocked out right after that - but although it was a good guess I don't give myself any credit for a good read. In the BB - and Max raises in EP. Charlie calls Max's raise. And I believe the Poker Prof moves all-in.

I look down and see 99.

I want to call - this is a GREAT chance to more than triple up - but I've got 2 pros behind me - and an all-in bettor who's over the top of both of them. Something is telling me this is not the time to get in with 99. I go with the force and muck and then whisper to Pauly - that I may have dropped the best hand.

Max and Charlie call the all-in - Max has 44, Charlie has overcards, and the Prof has ?? (don't remember). Max hit's a 4 for his set on the flop - no 9 comes and boy am I relieved that I didn't make that call.

Call it intuition. Call it fear. It was more of a combination of BOTH.

After this hand I caught a run of cold cards and watched as my stack diminished even further. I made a few steals - most notably with an 1400T all in bet on KTo. Felicia folded in the SB - remarking "If I was the BB - I'd call you." Of this I have no doubt. Alcanthang was in the BB and agonized for a while about calling.

To be honest - I was petrified. I really couldn't think of a hand that he could have that I would LIKE to be called with. It must've been pretty bad cards cause Al let me pass.

If I didn't thank you later Al (and I didn't) - Thanks!

So I hovered around when BG was moved two seats to my right. We had a "Genius" last longer bet of $5 - and we both had about the same amount in chips.

That's when the fateful final hand occurred. With 11 players left (and the final table awaiting) BG pushed. I look down and see AKs. I call.
I've got BG covered by about 200T (great) - and he shows 44.

"No A, no K" he shouts.

I calmly watch the flop. I'm either hitting this flop or I'm dead. But BG dodges the overcards - and I am left with 2 chips and a chair.

I bust out undramatically two hands later in 11th place - just missing the final table.

Disappointing? A little. Regrets? Yes - I wish I had just folded that JT on the button!

But this tournament was probably the most fun I'd ever had - what with the banter and the players - and even getting a chance to play with Max and Charlie. (and Felicia)

I've got a lot to learn about this game - but you know what - I can sit with these guys. (if not beat them)

I stayed to the bitter end - and watched Felicia finally take Max out in the final hand. By this time I was delirious and in major need of a nap. I said my goodbyes to those still around - and headed back to my room for some zzzzs.

I had every intention of trying to catch up with the crew at the Excalibur or Mandalay on Sunday (for football) - but it was not to be.

I even hear that Iggy showed up and I missed him!
The Blogfather himself in the house - dammit - I HAVE to meet you next time Iggy!

But I had a long night ahead of me - and a nap was most definitely NOT in my near future.

It was off to the Mirage for some ramming jamming 10/20 action...

Vegas - WPBT Holiday Classic Weekend - Day 1

So I arrive in Vegas on Friday morning after changing my flight from the previous night to the early morning one. I miss out on at least one night of poker - but I figured that actually getting a little bit of sleep on Thursday night would benefit me in the long run for Saturday's festivities.

End up landing around 10am - head over to the Mirage - stand in line with a bunch of cowboys - I'll tell ya - you could certainly tell it was RODEO weekend - cowboys and cowgirls all over the town...

After dropping my bag off - I decided to head over to the Luxor where I heard a few bloggers would be stopping by to attend the ridiculously structured but cheap ($25) 12PM tourney.
When I arrived to sign up - no one was there - so I eventually succumbed to killing time at a $2-4 table when Felicia and Glenn showed up. I chatted with them for a while - when in came Otis and BadBlood for the tournament.

Well - Felicia and Glenn eventually left (no interest in the Luxor tourney) - and I sat down at the tourney only to get knocked out in 21 minutes when my AKs fell to QQ on a KQx flop. (lucky not to bust out on that hand). And finally when my AA lost to Q9s when the lady to my right turned a straight on me (KJxT board).

She was extremely apologetic - but I had no bad feelings about it - these things happen in poker. I wished her luck with my chips and got up from the tourney.

But what to do now? I saw BadBlood and Otis still in the tourney. I could hang around and wait to see how they did. But did I really want to play 2/4? The answer was quickly - no.
So instead I headed over to the Excalibur where I heard that many of the bloggers would be arriving and I was assuming heading over to the poker room.

When I got there - once again, it did not appear that anyone from the blogger crew was there. But then again - how was I to know? Other than Pauly - and BG - who said he'd be in a shamrock hat - how could I tell a blogger from a regular tourist?

So I sat down at the baby NL game (1/2 blinds) to kill some time.

Now to say this game was soft would be an understatement. It certainly wasn't passive - with 1/2 blinds, a pretty standard raise was $15. However, many of these guys wouldn't follow up their pre-flop raises - instantly giving you a read of A, high card that missed or a pocket pair with an overcard on the flop - and others gave you the same read by pushing all-in on flops they missed or were scared of.

I played relatively conservatively - though I really wanted to mix it up. The only big hand I hit was when I was raised to a paltry $8 with Ax suited - picked up 3 callers and flopped my draw. Checked to me - and I bet $15 on the flop and picked up 2 callers. The flush hit the turn - and I checked it - and one of the callers pushed. I called of course - and took his stack when he showed a smaller flush...

I won a few other big pots - but also - got my JJ cracked by overcards when the river gave a bad AK caller his A, and also had my top two cracked by a river straight on another overaggressive raiser...

I still was able to end up about $100 up when I noticed Felicia and Glenn talking to a table of players and finally recognized Pauly.

Apparently while I was locked up in the 1-2 NL game - the bloggers had arrived.
I met up with Pauly, BG, Derek, BG's brother Bob, Mrs. Can't Hang, and more.

I desperately wanted to get a seat at this blogger table - even if it was a $1-3 game. But I had to content myself with grinding away at the 1-2 NL game (with little success) for an hour or two.

Just when I finally got moved to this game - and started to enjoy myself considerably - Felicia came by to suggest we start up an Omaha 8/b game. Hey - what the hell - do I play Omaha? Not really. But a chance to learn, and play with some other bloggers? Sure.

When we got seated - I found myself with Glenn and Felicia to my left (great...) along with Otis, BadBlood, AlCantHang, and Daddy. (did I miss anyone?)

I proceeded to win a few early pots mostly due to ignorance. In fact at one point Glenn started explaining to me how Omaha was a much different board read than Hold'em because you had to play TWO cards from your hand. To which I expressed my surprise, duh, both cards must play?

(Let me again apologize to Felicia for getting her to fold a good low when I bet my bad one in that one pot. I obviously had no business in that game.)

I ended up losing my early winnings after having been explained the vagaries (thanks Glenn for making me realize the game more complexity) - but I had a really interesting time and really started to enjoy the differences in Omaha. Think I'll spend some time practicing the game online... (in low limits)

Anyways - when the game broke up finally - it was getting towards evening time and I had to meet up with my friends and brother arriving later that night over at the Mirage.

I could've stayed out and played poker with the other bloggers all night - and part of me wanted to do just that (badly) - but with regrets I said my goodbyes - and headed over to the Mirage.

I'd see everyone again tomorrow.

BlackJack? (money won is twice as sweet as money earned)

So after returning to the Mirage I met up with my buddy (we'll refer to him as "lolo" which is hawaiian for crazy) and his brother. After a quick bite to eat, we hit the floor - and since there was a waiting list for the poker room - I got sucked into playing a few friendly hours of BJ.

Now my friend "lolo" - is legendary for his BJ social skills. I think I've written about this before - but he's the kind of blackjack player that gets a table of strangers high-fiving each other, does dances like the "strong like bull" dance and the hokey-pokey on a streak, and tips dealers and waitresses like a madman, strewing red and green chips around for good karma.

We sit down at a $25 table and right away things aren't looking good for the good guys. $200 disappears in like 5 minutes. But we continue to grind away - finally hit a good shoe and I'm bouncing between -$100 and -$200 for quite some time.

Then a young lady sits down between me and "lolo" and buys in for a $100. Not sure what she's thinking sitting down at a table with the three of us - we're obviously buzzed on the way to drunk - and though we're nice guys - she's got no way of knowing this.

But soon after our luck starts to change and unsurprisingly "lolo" starts to heat up.

"Fasten your seatbelts" I tell the new girl - "we're going for a ride!"

Now every time the dealer breaks - we are pounding fists across the table. Eventually our new friend gets into the swing of things and she's pounding with us.

"lolo" orders shots of Patron for the table and starts swigging glasses of Macallan scotch like they were water. As his face begins to turn beet red - we are entertained with his versions of the "hokey-pokey" as he gets up off his seat and prances (yes - I said prances) around in a circle after every big win.

Eventually the evil side of "lolo" comes out and he begins half jokingly offering the dealer tips to bust me when he breaks his hand and I'm sitting on a 17 or less. And then he pays the dealer and exults when it happens! I'm taking it in good humor (we're still up) but the dealers are like "Do you know this guy?" and "Is he your friend?"

I even take it in stride when I stupidly walk into a punchline when I ask the dealer to "give me a little one" when hitting my 16 - to which "lolo" promptly remarks "God already gave you one!"

The table erupts in laughter - and I can only grimace at my stupidity.

Eventually the pit boss comes over and asks if we can keep it down. Things were getting that rowdy. "lolo" insists we are merely a bunch of meek gambling asians - and that the noise must be originating from another table. The pit boss takes it in good humor - but he gets his point across even to a drunk "lolo".

Which makes things even more funny when we continue to hit cards and watch the dealer break. "lolo" now thrusts his arms in the air and makes supressed screaming sounds that sound somewhat like a whale in heat. It's hard to express how funny this was - but even the dealer is cracking up now.

I'm surprised no one joined in on the fun - we were clearly the loudest (but not in an obnoxious way), funnest, youngest, rockingest BJ table in the casino. And we were HOT!

I'll spare you the rest of the details - I did start pressing my bets near the end of the streak - if only I had a little more faith earlier... I was up a pretty decent amount when "lolo" exclaimed - "one more shot of Patron! (we had had about 4 so far) and we go OUT!"

It was sad to break the table - but the streak had pretty much ended and we were peaking. So we toasted our good fortune, said our goodbyes to our new friend, Christina from LA (who at least quintupled her $100 buy in), and we cashed out and headed out of the casino to see what nightlife Vegas had to offer.

Let me just say that BJ winnings unlike poker winnings spend much easier...

And that's the story of my first day in Vegas - and how I managed not to play poker on a Friday night...

(fade to black)


Monday, December 13, 2004

Return from Vegas (conscious - but barely)

A quick recap of the weekend's madness in Vegas for the WPBT Holiday Tournament. It was an insanely good time!
There was no big score for the weekend (well maybe a little one) but by Sunday I had had such a great time, everything else was just gravy.
As has been reported in other blogs - (check out Bill's Blog, Felicia, and Glenn) - Felicia Lee won the tournament. Congratulations Felicia. Although I played at her table for most of the tourney (busted out 11th) - I was lucky not to get involved in too many hands with her.
But more on this later...
As for the rest of the trip - playing with and meeting everyone was the highlight of the weekend. It's amazing how such a variety of people can meet for the first time and yet still seem like long lost friends..
Meeting some of the pros like Ron Rose, Marcel Luske, Tom McEvoy was an incredible experience as well. And getting to play with Charlie Shoten and Max Pescatori in the tourney (on the same table no less) was priceless.

As for the rest of my weekend - well I played a lot of poker (moved up to the 10-20 games), had a really lucky run and a great time at the blackjack tables, and one booze/blackjack winnings fueled romp on the town - which I would write about - but I er... forget many of the details.

I swear to write it all up - but if I don't get a few hours of sleep today I won't be any good for anything for the rest of the week.

Congratulations again to Felicia for her well deserved win - and to everyone who made it to Vegas (as well as those still out there) - it was a pleasure to meet you all.

Let's do it again soon!


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