Thursday, February 09, 2012

Dragon Lady & The Snowman

Continuing on my quest to become a better tournament player, I spent February 5-8 in Tunica, Mississippi (Robinsonville, really) at Harrahs.
Having to choose between playing the Million Dollar Heater events in Biloxi in January and WSOPC Tunica was difficult, but spending the first week of the Heater in bed sick took care of that quick enough and it was on to the next one.
How do people decide which events to play when they go to these things? For me, the structure sheets are helpful. The amount of starting chips, blind structure, length of tournament, prospective field and prize pool all influence which tourney I choose no matter when or where. Then of course there has to be consideration given to what part of my game I'm trying to strengthen or improve at this point in time as well. So for this trip, all things considered, the winners were the Ladies Only event and the 6-Handed Ring Event 6. Reasoning for choosing the women's event: Last year one of my Vegas trips was during WSOP and I played in a small tournament which had more women players than I'd had the opportunity to experience in the past. Two or three of these ladies were aggressive players and came out hammer down and never quit. Scared the living daylights out of me in fact. And left such an impression that every time I've sat down with a female player across the table from me since this incident, my play has been affected immensely by that one night. Knowing the only way to move past this and GetOverIt was to tackle it head first and jump into the Ladies Only event at WSOPC. Reasoning for choosing the 6-Max: Ummm... because it was on the schedule for Tuesday and the Turbo was a couple days later? I had really hoped to play in the Turbo, but uh, well, Tuesday would be my birthday and the structure was okay and hmm.... ok. The 6 Handed event it was. (Had I known how valuable of an experience it would actually be to play this event, my level of excitement might have been a little bit more;)
Because the Ladies Only event started at 5pm (Superbowl Sunday of all days, bah!), I had to break my first rule of tournaments, not making a 4 hour drive and playing the same day. Tires me out. it also let me stay up until midnight the night before shooting jagerbombs with a few friends. I got up Superbowl Sunday and made the 4 hour drive to go play in the tournament. Registration was easy. They took care of both events at the same time. Hotel registration also quick and easy. The staff was nice. Dragging my stuff into the elevator I had my hands full and didn't see the sign stating that you had to stick your card into the slot INSIDE the elvator before you could push the button for your floor. Big guy in Bose headphones, xxxl WSOP white hoodie, shorts and flip flops just stood there looking at me. Didn't mention, hey, bimbo, you have to put the card in the slot to make the button work. Just remained on planet x as I got out of the elevator tried to juggle my junk and grab my room key out of my purse. On the next elevator I saw the sign with instructions on how to work the silly thing and actually managed to get up to the room, unpack some stuff, shower and grab something to eat before heading back to the tournament area to meet #crickets. (#crickets is an old stud player from back in the day before I was born who plays some pretty decent poker. He wasn't playing this trip, and had instead come to be my "bioche" and rail) Wait, let's back up just a second. Outside of the tournament area was a sandwich shop and Fuddruckers hamburger shop. When I was waiting in line to order some nasty carbs, Big guy in Bose headphones, xxxl WSOP white hoodie, shorts and flip flops still aloft on planet x gets in line behind me. #Crickets would later honor him with the nickname Snowman because no matter where we were if we looked up he was hovering somewhere nearby.
Ladies Only Event. I believe there were 136 registered. I walked into this game uneasy, believing it was going to be an experience resembling 8th grade gym class or something of the sort. Boy oh boy was I off target! What a friendly table draw and a good choice to skip the SuperBowl (my team wasn't in) and play poker. Most of the time we were 8 or 9 handed. Casey Jones over in seat 2 was the first one I bumped off but she had a bag full of lollipops and was sweet as can be. It was FUN but serious poker. Instead of the usual hour and a half it takes me to settle in, it was pretty quick to relax and start playing the hands I chose to play. The Ante started 90 minutes in and blinds were doubling every 30 minutes, not quite the turbo structure I enjoy but the table was pleasant enough it really wasn't anything at all like I expected. At the first break after 2 hours of play, (while running for the bathroom of course!) #crickets mentioned a couple of tells on me that he had observed from the rail. Well hell, ok, let's fix this. By the next break 2 hours later those were under control and moved on to Dragon Lady. About 3 1/2 hours into the tourney as they were splitting tables up, (we had players moving in as other players busted out) they brought us the Dragon Lady. This chick sits down with a stack of chips the size of the Matterhorn at Disneyland with a little dragon figurine on top of them, plunks down her iPad, phone, and a ton of other crap which ends up in my space and everywhere else on this side of the table. Time flew real quick to the second break with Dragon Lady scooping up every chip on the table. Up to this point, all of the hands that were shown were um... like reading a poker textbook on the proper poker hands to play and were bet accordingly. No bullying no great showdowns no major doubling up... like a dainty little girls tea party and poker game. They split our table up and things got a little tougher. Starting into Level 9 there were 45 players left. By 9:47 p.m. there were 28 players left and I was down to 14bb. Totally card dead. It just didnt' come back around. Busted out at 10:42 in 19th with my KQc vs 55. I walked out feeling good not only having accomplished my mission of getting over my terror of female poker players, but knowing there was not one hand the whole day I would have played any different at that point in time. It was the best I could do with what I had to work with. Maybe someday after learning more I will see other opportunities to play different, but right that minute, it was as good as a cash for me. I'm sorry I don't have any monster hands to tell you about, there weren't any, really. This was a personal mission working on becoming a better tournament player. Mission accomplished. Yes, finished 19th. They paid 1-15. On to the next one. Oh, did I mention that when they busted tables and moved us a 3rd time, I ended up back with Dragon Lady, who was short stacked and tiltsville? Dragon Lady finished 2oth. Talk about a moment that was good for a gal's ego ;)
#Crickets mentioned twice to me that Dragon Lady didn't have any tells. She did the same thing the same way every single hand. Sitting next to her, I never did get a read on her other than being able to tell if she was going to play in the hand or not.
Tuesday was my birthday and the $345.00 6-Handed Ring Event. There were 344 players and the prize pool totaled $98,754. I drew a really good table. We never broke and I had the same seat for over 9 hours. It was sweet. I had done a little brief reading on playing a 6max and knew that there would be little or no chance to limp. This was my opportunity to get away from a 10-handed table and work on being more aggressive, and adding more hammer and shove. So I sat down having no clue what was ahead of me. The guys on the table were nice. Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama and me. Seat 6 was a late registration and nobody stayed there for very long all day. The seat was way beyond cursed. Boys moved in with chips, we took them and they went home. Arkansas in Seat 4 was a sweet kid who lives not too far from my son. Seat 1 was having a birthday the day after mine. He had just arrived, registered and got to the hotel to discover his shaving kit and $1,200.00 was missing out of his truck. Man talk about having a bad day. It turned out sometime just before the dinner break, his bag had been returned by someone on the hotel staff, they tracked him down, he verified the contents with security AND the lucky devil got all of his money back along with it. It's nice to know there ARE some good people left in this world. Cards were in the air at noon and blinds were 25 and 25. The structure of this one was better for me than the Ladies event. About an hour and 15 minutes into the game I had a major oh shit moment. The guys at my table were crazy. What in the world was I doing there? How on earth can I compete with this? They all did this shove bluff hammer bluff depending on position and it SKEERED me... My thoughts were, "Well, looks like this was a major mistake I'm not ready to play at this level yet and if I only got to play for 2 hours on my $345 well maybe I won't be back for another one"... I was down to 7,000 from a starting 10,000 then had a little talk with myself. No. I came to play poker. I've been down way less than this and finished second. Damn it let's play poker. And guess what? It was time to settle down and take another look. And baby, it turns out, maybe I knew just a little bit about what I was doing after all. (Honestly, I think it had a good bit to do with the awesome Twitter rail I had going on at the time. Energy channeled in one direction and all of that? Couldn't have stayed and played without it...) I shoved and bluffed and came over the top and folded when it was right to fold and bit and kicked and scratched and yes, even tried a flirty smile once... and doubled up and then it was up and down up and down up and down for HOURS. I never did get much above average but I hung in there. I never did run good, but I played well enough to stick around long enough to be proud of. This tournament paid 1-36. They updated the board to 54 about 20 minutes before I busted out, so finished better than 54 in my second ring event. I learned some stuff. I learned a lot of stuff. Even though there wasn't a cash it was totally worth the trip and the investment will definitely pay off in future tourneys. And now, lots of reading to continue the forward movement and on to the next one ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I haven't been playing poker. On PURPOSE. It's been more important lately to make sure that life and work and everything else in my world is in order, so that when it's time to play, that's all there is.
Here are a few of my favorite tweets from the last week or so.

@3dgar Best wishes, pack your A-Game and run good!!!
@DJprimalprime What does a guy have to do to get a blog mention from a hot redhead? (I dunno hun. Let me poll the hot redheads and get back to you, okay??)

@elLocoCholo good luck you
@jedi_balls your turn show us the way #wsopc
I'm not taking my laptop so probably won't have an update on WSOPC Tunica until after I get back home. Now. Let's think about getting the heck out of Dodge and go live the dream.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


New Years Eve weekend was a wonderful three days in a log cabin on a lake in the middle of nowhere. Heaven. Ten of the best friends anyone could want to spend a few days away with. We sat around NYE drinking and playing dealers choice for pennies away from the rest of the world and it was a great time. Was able to catch a quick nap the next afternoon and woke up freaking out for a few seconds that I'd brought on another bout of the #voodoodonkcurse by letting my hair down and goofing around with the pennies. It's all good. And it's going to be a really great year. Happy 2012!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Found My Balls ...Heh.

Went to the coast for a few days last week for vacation and to mix up some cash and tournament play. Played in the $1,000.00 Guarantee at Beau Rivage and finished third in addition to picking up a little bit of cash off the locals.

Am I learning to pay more attention to everything? Sure hope so. It seems to be making a difference. Been doing lots of reading, getting a little bit of coaching, fingers crossed that I can continue growing into a stronger player as time goes on.

Had a great virtual rail for the tournament. I wanted to share some of my favorites so that I can find them here in the future in case I need a reminder of where my head was at this day.

Stone: @jedi_balls: Nice balls. Are you playing today? (see pic above. This reminded me that indeed I do have balls as big as any guy at the table, they're just strapped to my chest, or in this case, remembered forever in a silly tweetpic)

Steve: @swhitelextown: Make it a payday. Ship It. Hoodie On. Game face on and look at your donks and take it down. You got this. (This came in at just the right time. Helped me make my own comfort zone regardless of the seat number and focus) ALSO: don't limp. Destroy it. Have position and make em tank. (reminder, position makes a big difference, don't limp)

Dave: @Djm182: grind #donkalicious grind. Pick your spots. Own the Game. One decision at a time (A little reinforcement here on things I've been trying to remember lol)

And thanks to @jedi_balls, @Roseyg917, @Jammenplayer, @suzysbad, @wisecapra, @rosietexecano, @djm182 for pulling me back to earth during the breaks. Sometimes it helps knowing that someone's out there. Big hugs to @mitchell1969 for recommending some reading material to help me improve. Have been reading and re-reading and will continue to read.

Happy Holidays. Wishing you lots of run good in 2012 and happiness too.

It's so nice to be free of the #voodoodonkcurse and be playing poker again ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

About Poker & Stuff...

Stopped by a local poker room yesterday morning to check out the action.  I went to the desk and asked the poker host what table he had going on at the time (there was only one).  He had his back to me.  "Excuse me, Sir? What game do you have going?"  "2/5 NL with $200/500 buy-in."  He went back to watching the table and again had his back to me.  There were only five players seated, two of whom I recognized from last weekend, so I pranced my happy little ass around to the other side of the desk where you buy your chips.  Yeah, he still had his back to me.  "I'd like to buy in." I said as I slid my $200.00 onto the counter.   "Excuse me?"  Finally.  He turns around.  "I'd like to buy in".  He gives me A LOOK and said, "It's NO LIMIT".  Well, yeah duh (I'm thinking) looking at him and my money on the counter and at him, "I'd like to buy in."  Finally.  He slides me a rack. 
I set up at seat 3 doing a little happy happy joy joy dance that I was finally going to sit in a 6 handed game and not deal with a 10 player table like I'd been facing all year in tournaments.  And yeah, I played some poker.  Watching the 5 guys who were already there I realized I'd sat down with all of them last week.  It was a nice, friendly game-- a little less brutal than the previous meeting.  I was up just over $150 and was thinking about leaving and going to get some lunch before work when I looked down at A10d.  Maybe a few more hands, huh?  There were two players in so I called the blind.  Flop came diamonds.  The opening bets had pretty all much been $15 so I tossed in $25 thinking that would be enough to buy the blinds and I could go home.  Guys in seat 5 and 9 both called.  Well crud.  I'm thinking, well, I couldn't buy it and I'm not going to donk off the hundred some I was up and I know if these guys stay in I'm going to get killed on the river.  Right?  Turn came diamond.  I can't remember which cards were out there exactly but they were far enough apart to know a straight flush wasn't possible, and unless one of these guys boated up on the river, I still had it and shoved in $75.00.  Seat 9 folded the guy in 5 called.  WHAT?  I kept looking at the cards out there going over and over in my mind what could he possible have.  He hadn't won a hand since I sat down, had been betting on pretty much nothing, I'd already taken two small pots against him...  No, I still have this.  I THINK?  It's got to be a smaller flush.  Relax.  River card was 3h.  I remember that one because I slid in the $100 bill in front of me.  If I'd reached for chips I would have knocked them over... if he'd been looking at me he would have noticed I was shaking so bad I had to flip my hair until I got the shaking of my head back under control... I know the guy next to him saw that.  But he didn't look at me.  He thought about it for almost FIVE MINUTES, as I settled down and waited.  He had Qd, he called.  SWEET.  I played a few more hands and as the table had now become 8 players, begged off that I had to get to work.  After tips & drinks cashed out $572, felt pretty good after a year of tournaments and three months of total voodoo poker curse donk-a-thon play.  Not bad for an hour and a half work... Maybe I can get back into it, would be nice to start seeing regular cash again. 
So I grabbed the chips & four $100.00 bills in front of me and slipped back up to see Mr.Rude at the desk who first apologized for seat 5's earlier language (he and another guy had been tossing the N-word back and forth when guy sat down in seat 4 short time earlier), thanked me for playing and cashed in my chips all while presenting me with his front side and looking me in the eye. ;)   That's all for this week, not the greatest, but I'll take it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


One of my goals for 2011 was to focus strictly on tournament play.  What an adventure! (...and blow to my bankroll lol)
Do I feel like I've accomplished what I set out to do?  Yes.  Is there still room for improvement?  Oh yeah.  Has it been a waste of time and money?  Nope. 
 I've been playing poker about 15 years.  Did the online micro grinding thing for a while but chose to stop 3-4 years ago because it just wasn't as satisfying as sitting around with live bodies touching the chips and the cards.  I've done very well in cash games until recently but my heart has always been wraped around tournaments.
So 2011 was all about tourneys. Tunica, Vegas, Biloxi, Vicksburg, Vegas, Biloxi, WSOP-C, and was on the rail for the 3rd time at the WSOP.  Stepping up and playing with a different caliber of players than I'm used to has sure brought room for growth and I've cashed twice, second place both times. At the same time there were moments when I was terrified, confident, made a good read, donked off my stack and had nightmares.  All year long, I was working three jobs -about 70 hrs a week, trying to bounce back from an abusive marriage, Feb-Nov my boss at the full-time job found out he had cancer, went through chemo and died--a whole word of personal challenges going on there which definitely affected how much I could mentally and physically stand to play. Then came one hell of a blow to my ego.  The first part of December I sat down at a cash table and LOST. WTF? Yeah. That had NEVER happened before and was probably good for me in some warped, sort of way.  Obviously there is still plenty of room for growth and adjustment.
Would I do it again?  Yes.  In fact, I plan to continue with this goal into 2012 and do even better.  I've met and played with some great people and look forward to seeing them again. 

Friday, December 09, 2011

Poker & Snow

Had planned on playing in some of the Winter Poker Classic events in Tunica this week but when a friend posted this picture I decided to just skip the drive and stay home.  Between working 70 hours a week, volunteer work and the little bit of poker I've had time to go play, I'm burnt out.  Bad.  Looking at the Million Dollar Heater in Biloxi (January) and WSOPC Tunica (February) for next bit of adventure. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kids? What Kids! It's Poker!

Wow. I haven't written a blog post in 3 years 20some days. Been a little while. Guess somewhere I lost not only my sense of humor, but also the ability to write. The kids are grown now. They've moved out moved on and well, LilDD is living with me but she only comes in to sleep and do laundry. So, if I ever find time to redo my graphics for this thing, it's all about poker now. Yeah, twelve years and still playing.
A few things really stood out about the tourney yesterday that for some strange reason I wanted to write about.
There was a young kid sitting in seat 7. I think it was his first tournament because he was scared to death. The first hand he played (first or second hand of the game) the blind was raised from 50 to 300 by seat no 4. Kid tossed in one $100 chip and two $1,000.00 chips. Didn't say a word. The chips were somewhat similar in color. Dealer calls, "RAISE, Two Thousand, One Hundred" to which the kid's jaw dropped. Mouth open. "huh"? Guy in seat No 1. mentions, he should have said, "call" right? (I was waiting for the kid to whip out his badly worn copy of NLHEforDummies at this point). Dealer proceeds to explain to the kid to verbalize and yes the chips are similar in color, expensive lesson you just learned, etc. Fold all the way around the table to Seat No 4. who had the original preflop raise. He calls. After the flop No. 4 bets some inconsequential amount and the very green kid folds. I continued to watch him, he would toss chips in hand after hand but wouldnt' see anything through to the end. I used this to my advantage twice to fluff up my own stack a little bit.
I tweeted about the bald guy sitting in seat No.5. He started into the game shoving and trying to by blinds out of the gate at 25/50. The first time, I think maybe he had a hand. I was watching, not dancing the first two times he did it. Something felt a little off though. He was bullying, or trying to, but wasn't doing it in the normal arrogant way of a very experienced player (some of whom can be just about unreadable some days!) so the third time he opened up after the flop with 2,400 I had AQs and AQ7 hit the table, I went up over the top of him and he folds. Eye contact immediatley after from Patty, the other lady player at the table, told me she knew exactly what I was doing and I enjoyed giving him the spanking. He played some decent hands but when we switched tables I lost track of him and don't know how he ended up.
I never like playing a hand right after they move players around. My stack was decent I was having fun and I'll be danged if my first hand at the new table wasn't AKc. If I'd been any shorter stacked I would have folded it and just sat back and watched for a while. Only one other guy was in and I think the blinds were something like 400/800 at this point. I can't remember what came out on the flop, it really never mattered. The guy bets 2400. I call. I didn't have jackdiddly at this point but I just knew this guy didnt even have a pair. Turn, same bet same call. River, same bet same call. He was chasing and my A was good. The hand itself really doesn't matter. It was his reaction to me actually calling his bluff which will with me for quite a while. He blinked. Looked me and blinked again. And did this little head twitch shake thing. Blink stare twitch. He was still doing it 10 minutes later. Tons of fun.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Advanced Combat Training...

My son's travel agent has decided that he needs to get away from the lovely Arkansas weather for the holidays and is sending him to Iraq.
Right now, Mr.Blue is on the east coast for combat and survival training. We've had some pretty weird conversations the past two weeks. "Mom!" He told me. "While I'm there, I'll be in all my kevlar and I'm going to get SHOT!" At first I was thinking, well sure, you've got to get your shots up to date before deploying, but then as we talked I realized no, that's not what he's talking about. He's REALLY going to be SHOT. I guess part of the training is dressing up in your battle gear and then getting shot with simulation rounds coming out of an M-16 to make sure you can still function when you feel the impact of rounds hitting your vest or whatever. Probably no big deal after spending 2 weeks hauling dead bodies from humvee to humvee and crawling on the ground with M16s firing all around you... Another day he txted and said, "I died today" ..."they carried me and loaded me into another convoy and it was fun" Yeah whatever.

He's loving it. My geeky dorky non-athletic straign A-son has started to buff out and act like a guy and I'm so proud of him. He's ready to go and it won't be long and he'll be there.

We were able to steal a day with him before he left TDY. Well, not a day. Three and a half hours. It was wonderful...

As a mom, it's really bothering me that he'll be gone for christmas. And, by the time I get his mailing address in the sand, his packages won't get there until January. That's ok. He'll know before he leaves that care boxes will be on their way.

My son will be 20 years old 2 weeks before he leaves for the sand.

I was in the store this morning before work, and there was a man stocking candy bars and another man across the aisle filling up the chip rack. Of course, they were discussing the election last night. As I walked over to get my coffee I heard one of them say, ..."this isn't going to end the war in Iraq like everybody thinks. It's not going to bring the troops home." Oh Man. I wanted to say something. Something like... Well, I dont' know. I just wanted to say SOMETHING. But I bit my tongue and behaved. I still cry every time I'm driving down the road alone though. This is difficult. This is my baby boy. My only son. Going off into the middle of a war zone.

And WHAT REALLY TICKED ME OFF was on the radio over the weekend. Two different people mentioned hearing to me that there were NO u.s. casualties in Iraq last month. WRONG. There were TEN. Eight army, one marine, one air force. Two were not combat related, but eight were. and half of those were in the area my son is heading.

Ok. I think I'm better now.
For a little while, anyway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

NO NO NO NO NO......

How in the HELL do you stop crying and be an understanding, supportive, wonderful mom when one of your kids tells you he/she is getting ready to deploy?? How in the HELL do you stop crying and be an undetstanding, supportive, wonderful mom when your planned trip to visit your deploying child is cancelled because they have to go TDY for combat and survival training? How in the HELL do you stop crying and be an understanding, supportive, wonderful mom when another child calls you up right in the middle of all this and says, "ummm, Mom? I just talked to (my brother/sister) and he/she should be back before I go in (insert month here)....

That's it for now.
Isnt' it enough?

Before BabyBlue flies off into the wild blue yonder, both other KidBlues are going to play in the sand.

I may not get out of bed for a while.