Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Mariah Carey?!

Found on a link from the CasinoMemo poker blog:

Mariah Carey Wins 300,000yen In Las Vegas Casino

Pop diva Mariah Carey made a big profit to the tune of $27,000 (300,000yen) at a Las Vegas Casino.

Mariah was attending the 33rd birthday party for music producer Jermaine Dupri, at the newly opened Tao Restaurant at the Venetian hotel.

Also attending the party were Dupri girlfriend Janet Jackson, Usher, Nelly, and Paris and Nikki Hilton.

Mariah also played poker in the casino next to the restaurant.

She got lucky, and made a big win of 300,000yen on only the third round.

Mariah said, "I used to play a lot of poker with my sister. But my dress shows off a lot, so I wonder if I might have won because the guys were all distracted."

Okay, now even Mariah Carey is playing poker?

I found this a little strange, so just did a google search and found the original English version of the story at So I guess it is for real after all. Please note that my quotes of items from Japanese sites are being translated into English by my own lacking skills, so no goddamn complaints that my version of the story, translated from Japaense and then back into English, is a bit different than the original version.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

NHK Poker Lecture Series

Bluejay points out in his blog that the NHK Culture Center in Nagoya will be starting a lecture series called "The Enjoyment and Charm of Poker." For 10,000 yen (about, what, $85?), the head of the JPPA will give six 90-minute talks every other Saturday in October, November, and December.

NHK is the Japan Broadcasting System, and is much like PBS in the United States. This is a little weird. Imagine switching your TV to PBS and after The Electric Company finishes up, there's a show on "The Wonderful World of Poker".

This is a lecture series, not a tv show, but still... odd.

Hopefully there will be some interested people and some new Japanese players will get involved with the game.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


In his blog, Bluejay writes,

Coming to Canada, I found a 'Semi-Satellite', that can earn you entry into a WPT Event. For these satellites, you can enter for only $3 Canadian, and you don't even need any poker skills!

If you're lucky, you can even win more than those that play in the event. If you check out the details here, it should be clear -- so far I've lost around 30,000yen on these! (laugh) Man, I didn't think there'd be something like this...

Japan Content

I have a nagging feeling that this blog has become very boring. There are plenty of other poker bloggers that both write and play poker better than I do, so I won't stand out on that front. About the only thing I can do to keep things interesting is to concentrate on the embryonic poker scene in Japan, which I have drifted away from.

So I will try to keep my musings about my online play and foolish bonus chasing to a minimum, and stick to more original content.

One thing I am considering is to keep an eye on the poker blogs of the Japanese players, and translate them to English. I need more Japanese practice anyhow. Considering that some of the Japanese players have competed and done quite well in the WSOP, and many are damn good players with a better feel for the poker world in Japan, I think there will be some good content to work with. We'll see how it goes.

This Friday is the final event for the Japan Series of Poker, too. I will see if I can make it out to cover the event, take some photos, and talk with some of the players. I probably won't be able to make the whole event, since I'm in the process of packing and cleaning for my move to the new apartment on Sunday, but I will try to make at least the final hours and get a shot of the silver bracelet and the winner and maybe some of the final table action.

Introspection Time

After the Duke tournament finished up, J.O. commented to me, "James, you need to start being able to play bad hands. If you play only good hands, everyone will recognize that and drop out as soon as you play."

Very true. And I knew that, of course. Everyone comments about being able to mix up your play so you'll get action on your good hands, but to be honest I haven't needed to do that online. At least, it's much less of an issue when you're playing on a site with 20,000 players logged in and on tables with 8 people you've never seen before and 1 you have. And many of these players aren't that great, so they are going to be slow to pick up on your play style, if they pick it up at all.

But now that I am playing every week or two with a group of the same 20 or 25 players, many of them pretty darn good, I am getting read much more easily. Time to start figuring out how to vary my game. I have a feeling this will take a while.

It is some small comfort that when I ran the autorating function of PokerTracker last night, it upgraded my icon from "Tight Neutral" to "Tight Agressive Solid (Good Player)". Thanks, pal, I needed that. I guess I have got my aggression up to about where it should be, though I may still be doing the right things at the wrong times, which PT will not be able to pick up on.

When I first looked at PT and loaded my hand histories and looked at the data, I found with chagrin that the hand I most regularly lost money with was... 8-9 offsuit. Yer kidding. I'm not really playing such a lousy hand, am I? Twenty-two times, this thing says?! Am I an idiot? I'm still hoping to find that I was sleepwalking to the computer and playing this crap while unconscious.

Last night I checked and found that my most losing hand was... A-8 suited. My second-most losing hand was... A-5 suited. And my fourth most losing hand was... A-J suited! At least I can see a trend here. I am calling too often with AXs to try to flop the nut flush or nut flush draw, and it's not paying off enough to make it worthwhile. At least this I can deal with.

In case you were wondering, "Hey, what was your third most losing hand?"... it was Q-5 suited. I'll be seeing a doctor about the somnambulism soon, I promise.

Tourney Results

I'll keep this short, since I doubt it's actually all that interesting to anyone other than me and maybe those who were in the game.

Saturday night, we had one last shot at getting into the Vegas Cup game later that evening - a limit holdem tourney started shortly after 7, with the last shot at winning points to be used as chips in the Vegas Cup. A new player, Kuri-san, with no entry into the Vegas Cup swore he would win it so he could compete. J.O., sitting pretty with 150 points from his victories over the last several months, took his spot and noted that he wasn't just going to give up those 30 points for first place to anyone.

They were both right, it turned out. Kuri-san held on to take second place, winning 10 points and entry into the Vegas Cup immediately following. J.O. destroyed all competition and earned himself another 30 points for a dominating 180 chip big-stack advantage.

Me, I lost most of my chips midway into the game when I got dealt TT in early position. I bet, one follower raised, another re-raised, and I called. The flop came something like K-6-Q rainbow, which naturally terrified me. Yet it was checked all around. Turn came an Ace, yet it was checked all around again. The river came a blank, and I began to think I might have lucked out and nobody hit anything. Yeah, I am that stupid. I bet, they both called. One had something like K-J, the other A-Q. Boom.

I only had a few chips left after that fiasco, so when I got K-J clubs a few hands later, I bet them and got a couple callers. The board came 5-5-9 with two clubs, then an 8 of clubs and I could breathe again. River came a ten of clubs but I still held hope that my King would hold up... until the other guy flipped over T-T for the full house.

Here, lemme get out of the way so you guys can spread out a bit. This table's too crowded anyhow.

The Vegas Cup ended up with 12 entrants, including Kuri-san with his fresh ten-point victory. We split into two 6-player tables, then combined back into one table when we had a few bustouts. I was the first to bust out - with only 10 chips and the blinds starting at 1/2, I had very little leeway. Oh, did I mention that I drew J.O. directly to my left? And Marume-san, another very decent player, directly to my right, though he was also relatively short-stacked with only 30 points.

J.O. started things out slowly, as if in no hurry to bust anyone. It didn't help much. I got no good cards and made no moves. As my stack dwindled from the blinds (they come around often on a 6-player table), the best hand I recall seeing was A-4 suited, under the gun. I hestitated, hesitated, then mucked them. I should have taken my shot. Soon after my last chip was put in when the big blind hit me and I had K-3 offsuit. I hit nothing, one of the others hit his 6 or something like that, and I was out.

Marume-san held in there and made it to the final 6 players with about 35 chips, facing JO with his 150, Mari with 120, Saeko with 90, and one other player named Kuroda-san with about 30. Kuroda-busted out first when he bet up his A-10 suited but the board came K-8-5 to pair J.O.'s K-10.

Marume dropped next when his stack began to dwindle and he raised his last 30 chips with A-Jo. Mari called him, and the board came 8-T-8-7-7, missing him completely. It also missed Mari, but she had pocket Jacks from the start and needed no help.

Down to three players, J.O. had around 240 in chips, Mari around 125, and Saeko around 120. Saeko had started with 60 and built up steadily, but was ill with something and looking not too well as the game ground on. Mari also looked tired out, as if she hadn't had enough sleep. J.O. seemed content to play slowly and not press things too much, as if wearing them down over time.

At one point, Mari glanced at her hand from under the gun, shoved them toward the center to fold, paused a moment, then cried "Oh! wait wait wait!" and retrieved them. They hadn't hit the muck, so she peeked at them again, then raised 60. Saeko and J.O. both folded immediately, and she picked up about 25 chips from their blinds. I still wonder what that was all about.

J.O. eventually knocked Saeko out when the board hit no one and his K-8 held up versus her J-3.

Mari held up for a long while, then eventually fell with Q-9 versus J.O.'s K-3. The board nearly filled out a straight for her, but it did not come through and she had to settle for second place.

And so, surprising no one, J.O. captured the Cup and will be enjoying his return to Vegas someday soon. But we're already planning the second Vegas Cup, six months from now, so I plan to do better in the next one.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Short Version

In case anyone was concerned with the outcome... I didn't win. Didn't even come close. It's okay, I can afford my own trip to Vegas. ^^

Full details later. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Here we go...

In a moment, I am out the door to head to Duke for the Vegas Cup. There's one last qualifier earlier in the evening, which if I took first or second place in would earn me some extra points to play with in the finals. The final will probably be about 20 players, main prize a trip for two to Las Vegas. Barring an win in the early game, I'll have only 10 chips to work with. Many have 40-60. J.O. has 150. I expect that blinds will start at 1 and 2 and go up every 10 or 20 minutes. (It's been 10 minutes in the games so far.)

If anyone out there is reading this, wish me luck, eh?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Not so scary

I tried moving up to $2/$4 limit holdem on to help earn Player Points faster. I had a good deal of trepidation, since I thought of $2/$4 as the beginning of Low Limits, as opposed to Micro Limits. I figured people who played $2/4 would be relatively good, a definite step up from the lower limits.

So far I have not found it all that different, which is a pleasant surprise. Last night I confirmed that there are still players at this limit that will occasionally do things to make you go, ".....huh??"

I am dealt Ah-2h in early position, so I decide to limp in and try to see the flop. Several calls, one raise, and three more calls before it gets back to me. Lots of players in the pot so I call the extra bet.

Flop is three more hearts. Woo! Just flopped the nuts! I have the feeling that I'll get plenty of callers, so I bet it. Several callers, then the guy to my right RAISES.

I actually paused here, puzzled. I checked the board. Yes, all hearts. My two cards are hearts. One is an ace. I have the nut flush. No pair on board. And this guy raised me?

I re-raise. One guy in middle position and the guy to my right call. Maybe my pause made me look indecisive, so they figure I am bluffing?

On the turn I check, and the MP guy raises. We end up capping it reraising back and forth, with the guy to my right calling the whole way.

I could swear that I have a big sign around my neck reading, "I have a flush! A big one!" But it's like these guys can't read.

At the river, MP pushes his last $4 in, and we both call. Still no pairs on the board so I am not worried, but damned curious what these guys are playing.

MP guy had 8s-7s, and made his straight when a 6 fell on the turn. Thus the raising war.

Guy to my right had two hearts for the flush... 10 high.

I think I might be all right at this level after all.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Lucky > Good

I made my second Royal Flush last night. At the time, I didn't even notice.

I get dealt As Ks in the small blind at a $1/2$ limit table, and several players limp in so I raise and everyone calls. The flop comes three spades, so I am happy. I pause, as if I am scared of all the spades, then check. Everyone else checks as well. Turn comes a red blank, so I bet, as if I have decided no one has the spades. One guy raises and I reraise, and two players call. Turn comes another spade, this one a queen. Perfect, now guys with even one high spade might take a stab at the pot. I raise, and the two others call. I take down the pot ($13, I think it was) with my ace-high flush.

A moment later, someone comments "NICE!". I'm about to give the standard "ty" when another says, "Whoa, that's the first time I've seen one of those." An ace-high flush? I scroll back the chat a bit and find the line "JamesXXXX has won with a ROYAL STRAIGHT FLUSH".

Come to the think of it, the flop was something like 10-6-J of spades. And that queen at the end, a spade. Huh.

It's nice to make the Royale With Cheese, but it really loses something when you have to have it pointed out to you afterwards.

This was on, so I got an email in a few minutes with congratulations and notifying me of a $100 bonus deposited into my account for the Royale. What if I had disabled my chat at the time? I wouldn't have even known about the Royale until I noticed the email much afterward. Holy shit, I made a Royale? WHEN?!?

The $100 was very welcome, though, since I only signed up with PokerRoom a few days ago and have been bleeding cash from the start, much to the enjoyment of the local leech squad. Players on PokerRoom seem noticably better than on Party, but that's going to be true for almost any site. But I was also playing scared, since I had only bought in for a small amount and some early losses had me worried I would bust out before making enough Player Points to get my signup bonuses. With the extra hundred, plus some more that I will dump in there this evening, I should be bolstered enough to feel more comfortable and not play so much like a pussy. This is my theory, anyways.

I just signed up on PokerRoom because I found PokerSource Online, via a mention on the 2+2 Forums. Probably old hat to most poker bloggers, but I liked the idea of an affiliate signup kickback site, and with their September bonus I would earn about $90 in goods for each of the sites I signed up at. I went with PokerRoom first because I liked the idea of a Java-based client so I could fire up poker quickly on my main desktop, a Mac, instead of having to boot up my PC game machine. Unfortunately their policy for earning the PlayerPoints I need to get my signup bonus for PSO and my initial deposit bonus are harder than they look. I need 600 points to clear both, and you get points from raked hands, so it didn't look that bad. But hands with rakes less than $.50 earn no points, and rakes less than $1 earn only half a point. So on the $1/$2 tables, I'm only seeing maybe half the hands earning any points, and most of those only half a point. So that 600points will probably be something more like 1500-2000 hands at that level. Ugh.

I should probably have started with Pacific Poker or AbsolutePoker, since their starting hand requirements look a lot more like Party's and only require 300 or 400 hands. Should be able to clear those much more quickly. If I can manage the $90 PSO bonus for each of those as well, it will be worthwhile. I need to get back to that $1K bankroll goal, and making it the old-fashioned way, by good poker play, just isn't doing it for me.

Poker bonus make me drool. Poker bonus make me fool.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


After that quick $100 hit to my bankroll, I decide to try something different, so I joined a $1000 Guaranteed tournament that was starting in 20 minutes. $10+1 buyin, with rebuys and a $1500 add-on at the end of the rebuy period.

I had never played in a rebuy tournament before, so I don't have any real strategy for them. I decided just to try to play fairly tight and not lose my initial funds so it would hopefully not come up. About 60 players joined, and we got underway. I played tight and didn't see much action before the first break - I got no good cards so I mostly stayed out of everyone's way. I won small pots with 88 and 99, but other than those the best cards I saw were unsuited Ace-rag, which I chucked.

At the end of the rebuy period, I had about 900 of my original 1000 chips. The average stack was listed at around 2500, so I took the add-on to bring me up to 2400. Once we got underway, I got a string of good cards. AA, KK, AK, JTs with a good flop, and I bet them aggressively and suddenly I was chip leader of the remaining 40 players with about 19000 chips. It all happened in about 10 minutes of play. At that point I look over the payout structure and see that first place pays $354. Woo! That would go down nicely - pay off my earlier ring game losses and push me over that $1000 mark!

As the new big stack at the table, I began putting pressure on the other players. I would be sure to raise a good amount pre-flop with any reasonable hands, and with some pretty unreasonable ones as well, just to pressure the blinds and limpers. And it worked very well. They gave in to me uncontested time after time, and in the times when they came back at me, I actually had some reasonable cards and stuck to my guns. Bet big again after the flop hit me, and they crumpled. I did my job, calling small-stack all-ins if I had playable cards to try to knock them out. Some I put back in the game, but I eliminated a good number of players too. It feels good to be the big stack.

But it was not to last. I had the dinner I had promised to make for the GF to think about, so I began rushing back and forth between the kitchen and computer room, mashing meatloaf between folding hands. I finally dumped it in the oven and could get back to the game, but it's hard to stay on top. One of the other players at the table had been amassing chips and then busted out a player with a good stack to seize the lead from me. It was still close between the two of us as we hit the second break, two hours of play. The GF came home from work, too, and I had to explain that dinner might be a little late because I was in the middle of a poker tourney and had a good chance to win that $350. She took it as well as could be expected, I guess.

So we fought on, and players dropped... Payout was to 8 players, so once we hit about 15 remaining everyone got really tight and it slowed to a crawl... We were down to 11 players left, and I had lost a fair sized pot to drop me to maybe 4th or 5th in the chip standing. My girlfriend was getting impatient for dinner and calling in, "are you STILL playing that game?" I was tired too - 2.5 hours of play so far with no letup in sight! Then... I was dealt KK. I placed a big bet and the new chipleader called. Flop came A-8-5. Shit... Well... what the hell. I pushed and he insta-called me and flipped over pocket 5s. Boom, all done.

I don't normally play in tournaments, so I felt that I did pretty well. It's still frustrating to be that close to the money and then bust out for making a stupid play mostly because you're tired of playing poker for 2.5 hours already and looking at another 1.5 hours of play after that as well, just to try to make that money, meanwhile dinner is waiting in the oven and your girlfriend pestering you about when we can eat... I guess I was just not ready for that kind of commitment. I think I'll stick to the cash games for a while.


I thought I'd take a look at Noble Poker, since a lot of bloggers seem to be playing there recently because of the $1 million SNG challenge, and commenting about the soft competition.

I downloaded the software and connected, but stopped short of creating an account. There were only ab out 340 players connected to the site. Checking the low-limit holdem games, there was generally two tables playing - one full, and one half-full. I.e. I had one table to choose from.

Party has spoiled me. What if I don't like the table I get? Either wait for a new one, or change limits. There are more players there during the evening hours in the states, of course, but the hours I can play here are the wee hours of the morning there.

I could use a new bonus to chase, but I like to have more choices than that.

So I find two loose-looking $50 NL tables on Empire. And manage to drop my buy-ins on both of them in about 10 minutes. Ugh.

The first one wasn't so bad. I'm dealt As-5s in middle position. One limper to me, I raise to $1. Player to my left raises to $2.50. Blinds and the limper call, as do I. The flop comes 7s 2s 8h. The blinds check, and the original limper raises about the size of the pot, $13. I have the nut flush draw and I am pretty sure the guy behind me will at least call, so I call.

He doesn't call, he pushes all-in for $58. Before that even sinks in, the big blind pushes his stack in for his last $46. The other two fold, and it's to me. I need another spade to make my ace-high flush, so I put my last $33 in as well. The pot odds were 4 to 1, so I felt it was a good call. Even though no spades fell and the big blind won it with his pocket 8s. Other guy had pocket queens.

I tell myself it was still a good bet and turn to the other table. Soon I am dealt my own pocket 8s in middle position. Everyone folds to me, so I raise to $2. Only the big blind calls, and the flop comes 6 4 8 rainbow. Big blind bets $2. I'm guessing he does not have much, maybe a couple overcards or a high card plus a pair with one of the board cards, so I feel confidently in front with my set. I just call, figuring he'll put me on two overcards that missed and will bet out more strongly on the turn.

The turn comes a Q, and he simply checks it. I bet $4 into the $8 pot, trying to act like a weak player hoping to steal the pot from an even weaker player, and he calls, not letting me get away with it. All according to my evil plan.

The river comes... another 6. And he bets $15, the size of the pot. That 6 must have helped him, so I'm guessing he had a high card with a six, so made trips on the river and now feels strong enough to bet. He could even have Q-6, for a full house with sixes full of queens, and I have that beat with my new eights full of sixes, too. So I push in my remaining $40, hoping it looks like I am trying to scare him off so he'll actually call me.

He does, in fact, call me. And he does, in fact, have two queens, giving him queens full of sixes, and my $50 to boot. Damn.

Before I pushed, I considered that the only thing that would beat me would be QQ, but it was so unlikely... I must remember that big blinds get dealt good cards too.

Looking back, the only point I was ahead was at the flop, where my new set beat his two Queens. If I had bet out more strongly to try to take the pot there, he may have folded. Maybe. Would he really have put me on a set when he had an overpair? I don't know - it gives me something to think about.

I was so close to reaching $1000 in my poker bankroll, too. This dropped me down below $900. Maybe it is time for another bonus to chase.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Belated update

Guess I had better at least get some sort of update out there.

Friday at Duke was fun, but I didn't do particularly well in the games. Friend and coworker J.P. came by after he finished up his shift to check it out. He grew up playing a lot of 5 card draw with his family, he said, and was curious about newer games but not sure how to play them yet. I've been pushing him towards giving holdem a try for no other reason than to have someone around to talk poker with. Reading blogs and doing internet chat with a couple friends in the states who play is fine, but it only goes so far.

When JP showed up around 8pm, it wasn't much of a sight - about 20 people in the bar, but everyone crowded in the corner around the three poker tables, and the rest of the place empty. No one on billiards or darts, so it wasn't very lively. Later on, folks showed up, darts were thrown, cues were hefted, and it got a lot more cheery.

Unfortunately, last Friday was "mixed games" so we were doing the HORSE games. JP had a slight grasp of holdem but didn't want to get into trying the other games -- I was explaining the hi-lo and his eyes glazed over. "I'll just watch."

I'm getting better at these games but still fairly weak. I hung in there quite a while this time, and even won a few big pots, but got scooped twice for big pots by a young lady player named Kuri-chan, who acted like she wasn't too clear on what she was doing, but she knew enough to smack me around with some good hands to grab both the high and low in a hand of omaha and a hand of 7-stud. At least my head doesn't feel as dazed after a few rounds of the mixed games as it did.

I had been talking with one of the other players before the games started, a guy about my age called Marume-san. He mentioned that he got into poker a while back but had been playing various games for a long time. But his favorite game, he confided, was backgammon. "Backgammon is really the game," he stated flatly.

JP is also a backgammon player, and teaches me the game about once a year to try to get me to play. He thrashes me soundly, and I promptly forget the rules again just to spite him. So when Marume-san busted out of the games fairly early, I introduced him to JP and suggested they give backgammon a try. The bar has a cupboard of various board and parlor games, so they dug out a set and gave it a go.

Marume-san's english is pretty spotty, as is JP's Japanese, but their backgammon battle raged as I held the line at the poker table, hoping desparately for the marines, but they must have been searching for some lost white girl in Aruba, because they never showed. Busted (飛んだ), I watched their seventh game, and saw sweat on JP's brow at the backgammon board for the first time in history. "He's good... he's too damn good..." he muttered as he surveyed the board. "I keep laying traps and he keeps not falling into them. He doesn't even seem to notice." Marume-san stoically put JP out of his misery. JP grinned determinedly, already planning the rematch in his head, I think.

The remaining players in the weekly game had condensed down to two of the three tables, so we took the empty one and played some holdem so that JP could give it a try. We weren't playing all that seriously, so there was a lot of limping just to see what the flop would bring. We got a long string of straights and flushes taking the pots, I thinking giving JP the wrong idea of how often those really come up. JP started a long string of bluffs, just to see how far he could take it, but Marume-san clued in pretty quickly and I followed up, calling him to the river several times and watching him turn over crap.

He had a pretty good time, so I think he'll be coming back for more the next time I can make it. Next time maybe he'll get involved in some real holdem, but he had a pretty good introduction.

For my own game, the only notable instance was a quick loss of mine. I had just been moved to J.O.'s table, seated directly to his right as he handled the dealing for that table and a very sizable stack of his own chips. I bet out aggressively with a 5-6 of diamonds, got called by one player with AQo, who caught his A to relieve me of most of my already depleted stack. J.O. looked at me askance, and said, "So you're the kind who'll bet out with that? Okay, I understand you now," and turned back to the cards with a smirk.

Which is what I wanted. The Vegas Cup is coming up on the 17th, and J.O. will be the big stack, and he knows how to use it to play the bully. If I can get caught making plays I don't normally play, in the games for the next few weeks, hopefully he won't have as clear a bead on my play as he thinks he does. I'll throw all of the weekly games until then if it gives me a better shot at the trip to Vegas.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Comment Spam

My god, I barely posted that last item and immediately got two anonymous comments. Wow, that was quick.

Both are (were!) comment spams! I am amazed that they found the new post so quickly, and that whoever is actually aware of my blog to begin with. Deleted them already, but I guess I'm going to have to keep an eye out for them from now on.


Finished up my Empire bonus last night. Got some pretty decent cards for most of the night, and I felt I played well, so I ended feeling pretty good about myself and limit poker.

I ended up ahead about $70 from my play (not including the bonus $50) since starting the bonus-hunt, all on $.50/$1 limit tables. Not bad! That's, what, 28 big blinds per 100 hands? If I could keep that up, as well as moving up in limits, then I could start having those daydreams about giving up the day job.

(That's not going to happen, so you needn't warn me. A cold streak will kick in any day now to remind me why 1 or 2 BB is considered reasonable, and I am pretty pessemistic about what I think will happen to most new professional poker players in a few years.)

I got a string of great cards last night -- aces, kings, big slicks, and high cards in big multiway pots that turned into straights and flushes. I was a giggling, check-raising fool, and loving it.

My favorite hand (if I can recall it correctly) started with QQ in about UTG+1. I raised and about 3 people called. The flop came something like Q-7-3 in mixed suits, so I felt pretty good. I checked, going for the c-r, and got it when the second player after me bet. They all called my check-raise.

The turn came something like an 8, of the fourth suit on the board. I bet this time and two called, one dropped out.

The river came a K. Oooo, can I get away with another check-raise? I paused for a second or two, then checked, like I was worried about the king. Sure enough, the next player also paused, then bet out. The following player folded, and I happily hit my check-raise. The last guy called and I took a pretty reasonable pot. I think he had something like K-10.

Man, that felt good.

My poker bankroll is just short of a thousand bucks now, all profit since I pulled out my buy-in money a long while back. I'll give myself a little party when I clear that milestone.

Tonight, off to the poker bar!