November 02, 2010

I don't know where to focus

Haven't posted in a while. Haven't played much either. Part of it was, that in the middle of September I went off to Germany for a little over two weeks. It was to attend a conference, to renew my VISA and to see family, but who am I kidding, it was also to see what the options were.

I am probably leaving the US in 2011, it was a fun 8 and a half years. The land that taught me how to gambool it up. I might not agree with everything you represent each time, but I'm closer in mind and body to you than most Europeans in many ways. It is a beautiful country, right now just thinking of the 8 years here, there are so many memories and experiences. Right now, I'm remembering distinctly that patch of State Route 93 through Arizona from Phoenix (coming from observing from the telescopes down south) through Las Vegas, driving through the Joshua Trees with the warm desert wind in my hair, the only thing on the radio being some country station from Laughlin advertising the River City Casino and the 1$ blackjack. The great sunset over Hoover Dam with the (back then) unfinished Pat Tilman bridge starting to show its ghostly silhouette.

But my husband got this job in Berlin, he's also a bit tired of the US, back to Germany it is. And I do love that, too. I know, I'm sounding like this whiny bride that has to decide between two great grooms or some cheesy plot like that. I really liked the people and the general atmosphere when I was back in September. It was almost like I was relearning something I had forgotten to do back then, but as I played tourist guide to some people attending the conference, they remarked that I told the stories much more vividly than many locals and that I had a sparkle in my eyes when I told local yore and legends.

So going back is pretty much settled, but what to do? It's not like there are signs out there - "astronomer for hire, apply within" sprinkled around Berlin. Yes, I am kind of sick of the academic world at the moment, but it's probably just temporary, I'm sure the second I'm in a "real" job, I will cry and will want to go back to research again. And then for a small window, I think it was something like 3 days I considered poker...

I started e-mailing people, people that had made the jump. Not necessarily into poker, but into uncertainty, doing what they loved, pursuing their passion. I kept telling myself it's not about the money, it's whether you can cut it! I know I can't rely on poker right now with my measly bankroll and my measly monthly winnings, but what if I had a professional attitude towards it? And then the e-mails started to come in, they were encouraging, that it was hard, but the best decision they ever made, a lot of them said. I was willing to give it a go. I was so close to the cliff and ready to jump.

The last day of the conference, however, some encouraging words from colleagues... No, astronomy can't lose you, are you nuts? Hey, let's do this thing together, we'll work something out, no I'm not swimming in money, but I'm sure we can scrape something together. I know you can do good work... WOW! As if I didn't have enough doubts to jump off the cliff, here were people holding me back, telling me to stay. Everywhere! It was soothing, but a bit startling at the same time. I wouldn't be able to play much for a long while, because I need to build something up again. The stress! The politics! The tons of work, easy work nowadays, but still lots of work.

And so I guess I'm chickening out on poker, I'll be the donk that will be stuck at 2/4 - 3/6 forever, because I just don't play enough. 5000 hands a month won't just cut it either way, it's a hobby and I should be glad I even make *some* $ at it.

This has been a month now, where I have been like this, telling myself that I shouldn't like leave a train in motion and spend all this work in setting another in motion again. But every now and then I think back to those 3 days, where I was absolutely certain to leave the normal working world, almost with a sense of longing, embracing the insecurity. But I gotta be an adult. I'm turning 32 tomorrow, or well, I guess it's today! Yes, I gotta be the adult... whimper!

Posted By bellatrix at 08:11 AM


Tags: introspection

August 29, 2010

Stuff happening - part 2

Husband is out of town, so I think that now that I'm "stuck" at home with the kid, I have some more time to update the blog again. You know how it is when poker players don't update their blogs, right? Yep losing August. I'll write about it some more another time, along with graphs and all, but since I don't like to whine, I guess I'll talk some more about trip report stuff.

Where was I? Oh right, I wanted to talk about the evening I went to the Commerce again. Remember how I was talking about the slow and quiet games at Bellagio making me miss Commerce? Well, fresh off my 300$ padded BR (yeah, laugh away, my live "bankroll" is 2300$... who cares, I don't play live), I was stung with the desire to play live again and to ruffle the chips through my hands. And I longed for soft games, since the games online were beating me.

So after a day where I lose close to 100BB at 3/6 HU online, I decide to make it down. Husband was ok with it and I cleared with Jesse and he was also going to be there. After sparring with him a bit online, reading his 2p2 and later his blog posts, I was very curious to meet him.

So I arrive at the Commerce and all hell is breaking loose... it's crowded like I've never seen it crowded before. On my way to the High Limit Area from the back side the bar is full and there's a line around the corner to get it. People are screaming, drunks are stumbling. And OMG, I enter the high limit area and there are maybe 5 EMPTY tables as in non-playing, not actually empty of people... But what is this? Everybody is staring at the TVs. What is going on? No way! This much excitement for an MMA fight? Really? Wow.

I immediately spot Jesse and say hi, while he rakes in a nice sized pot. Yes, I can be a good luck charm. He'll play until his blinds and I'm fine with it, since I just want to stare at the ruckus that is happening at the Commerce. "Oh", I think "wouldn't it be cool, if I could show the readers what I mean by shooting a movie?" So I take out my camera and zoom across the room with all the goings on... Bad idea, right? Yeah, I get the tap from security and have to delete the movie in front of him, sniff sniff. Sorry readers, but at leats I get to talk about it...

Jesse is finished and we go have a beer and do the introductory "How'd you get into poker bit". We talked a bit about women in poker, but it's really funny, because he doesn't care about anything as long as there are fish in his game, and right now women are the fish. Ah, gotta love a pragmatic professional, that has no agenda, but to find a good game hehe.

By the time I get back the fight(s) are over and while there were 5 20/40 games running, now there are only 3, soon it will be 2, but I get a seat in a non-must-move game, so my whole play will be at that one table.

At the table there's one black dude that I have seen before. He's a passive guy, so he won't give me much trouble, but at least he has some hand selection criteria. The rest of the table I don't know. Lady to my left is a fast talking, potty mouthed, grumpy, slowrolling Vietnamese finest :heart:. Guy to my right (he will later change his seats bemoaning his luck next to me) is a latino guy with a chip on his shoulder, bets angry when he has it (like slams the chips). Rest of table is loose passive, didcha expect anything else? Lol, live poker.

After I raise a few pots, guy two to my left says he'll 3bet every one of my raises soon. I don't know what to respond to that, but instead I get into some small talk with him. I tell him a tidbit about my life without saying anything and he goes on and on about that himself. We talk about german pop music, the World Cup, the Army, etc. and he loses himself in those things, because he tries real hard to remember all the cultural references, while I don't really care. Sure enough, he 3bets me a lot and then hardly c-bets and it's so easy to play against, even out of position. He busts (well he was down to like 80 bucks) and just suddenly gets up and runs away. Lol, live poker.

Hungry! I order a pho with meatballs, because I'm in the mood for soup and I don't like sweet and sour soup there. It arrives and it is yummy, I mean, nothing special or anything, but just simple good. Lady to my left stares at me and suddenly I see her mouth watering. She wants one, too. But the waitress recommends the sweet and sour and I say that I don't really like it and lady agrees. She gets the pho and I have a friend for life. I mean, I can hardly stand the garbage that comes out of her mouth, but she's all friendly and shows me her cards when she's got me beat. Aaargh, if only she didn't touch my arm... And now the black dude is ordering pho with meatballs, too. 3 people slurping phos, what have I started?!?!? Lol, live poker.

4-5 hours pass. At some point I see numbnutz coming in and there's a funny story there, but I think I shouldn't tell it since it's embarrassing for him. But I see him win a massive pot when he flops trips with like 85 or something like that. I told you I am a good luck charm, ha! At my highest point of the night I was up maybe 2.3ish racks, but when I leave, it's "only" 630$. Still, pad my live bankroll again and even "made up" for my losses online and then some. Lol, live poker.

If you think, I'm being cynical and hate people, please don't misunderstand me. I'm writing this with a big smile on my face. I love going to play poker, I like talking to people, I even love the banter that gets old after a while ("gambol", "donation", "I knew you had xx, but I had to call", "setup!"). I know I would probably get REALLY cynical, if I played super regularly, but right now, I still look forward to every card room outing, like a giddy girl getting to go get ice cream or something...

Posted By bellatrix at 08:27 AM


Tags: travel

August 12, 2010

Stuff happening - part 1

Hey guys, it's been long, but as I said in a twitter some time ago, I just couldn't muster the inspiration to write. And it's funny, because it's when I have been playing the most poker that suddenly I haven't been blogging as much. So this blog post will be about that trip to Vegas one and half weeks ago, the next one will be about the rest of poker I have been playing online, at Commerce and at the home game.

So, Vegas. Yes, why were we going now? Is our little family just a family of degens that needs their bimonthly Vegas fix? What does it say when my daughter starts saying "well mommy, the Ceasars's Palace simply is a better place to stay than the Mirage" (she's 4, by the way)? Ah well, but we had an excuse. Our friend the Catholic priest was on his honeymoon. Yes, before you say: "Uh, that's impossible!", he's of old-Catholic denomination. It's a very small congregation in Germany, as most of the people that don't follow the celibacy stuff are actually Lutheran. But in reality "Old-Catholic" = "Anglican", so there. Anyways... the couple doesn't have much money, this was "the trip of a lifetime", they had done the San Francisco - Yosemite - LA - Grand Canyon - Utah NPs tour and were now on their way back. Friday was his birthday. What better way to celebrate than a surprise party in Vegas? Ha! Their friends from San Francisco were also in town and they are actually rich, so choose the Mirage (even though that's above our budget).

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So we arrive on Friday afternoon and everything goes off extremely well. "Surprise!" is screamed and he is surprised. Cake is had and it is good. Smiles all around. But wait, we gotta go! 6pm reservation at Musashi, the teppan place that is recommended by all the poker guys. It's off strip, so that's definitely a plus. And it's good, although just the teppanyaki, the sushi is overpriced and meh. But wait, it goes on, it's a birthday after all... a stretch limo picks us up at 8 and we do the tour of the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, the Bellagio fountains and the Mirage Volcano. I had never been in a limo before, but I found it to be kinda uncomfortable, but the kids had a blast. Finally the guys went to have some drinks, while the mommys went to bed... don't worry, mommy will get to gambol tomorrow.

I'm gonna spare you the details of family vacation. Let me just recommend you the Mirage pool and the Mac King Comedy club. The pool because it's beautiful, even if full and the show, because it's super cheap and still kinda quirky fun.

Anyway, finally... poker!!! Where do you play the limited hold'em? Why, the Bellagio, of course, the only place that has anything above 10/20. But first I had drinks with the "Black Widow of Poker" , always fun to meet females that also play poker, and this one actually does it for a living... even if she's mostly a NL player ;-) . Many of you guys probably know her boyfriend *TT* from 2p2 fame. After drinks he came around, too and we put our names on to a 15/30 list. Lemme tell you, Vegas poker after WSOP is pretty dead. The Bellagio room was pretty quiet, only about half the games were going. The high limit section had a 80/160 game going, but most of the people were old and looked like they were falling asleep. No pizzaz, nothing... A ghost of what it was a few months ago. I began missing Commerce.

While we were waiting *TT* gave me some Badugi pointers, and keep in mind, my foray into Badugi have been drunkern .5/1 or 1/2 shots at Stars, so I don't have that much of an idea. As always with a game on which there is little information, there are very dfferent views on how to play certain situations out there. I think it's a bit like handicapping, everybody can do the NFL lines, maybe even college football, but when it comes to the WNBA, everybody has dissenting opinions.

Anyway, we finally get into the game, and it is good. I don't remember any specific hands, but Vegas peeps are so passive. And the dealers are soooo slow. And they're old. I begin to miss my Commerce Asian efficient dealers. Then again, people are playing 15/30 like it's 8/16 or even 6/12, so whaddya expect. I win some, lose some. Pay off some spots where they had to have trips+ with 2nd pair (bad bellatrix, bad bellatrix). Then I win some pots with high pocket pairs. Most of my profit comes from a pot where I have 99 against *TT*'s AK on a A9x board. In terms of poker I leave up 'bout three fiddy (always wanted to say that).

The most exciting thing was the fight! Yes, there was a fight. While we were playing suddenly there was some yelling and scuffling. As I turn around I see this kinda fat guy dressed in black go against an older guy (like 50ish). He kinda grabs him, but not really since the other guy is backing away. The fat guy keeps screaming "I'm gonna kill you! You hear me? I KILL YOU!!!". Oh and the floor? Is standing there. Some looking away, just the dealer saying "please stop". I look at TT in horror and ask "Where is security?", he calmly tells me "There is none." Strange, because we had just talked about this very subject like an hour earlier. Anyway, old guy is wise and goes away. Five minutes pass and the guy dressed in black finally has calmed down... guess what? security shows up. YAY! In the form of some huge overweight black dude. Awww, fight's over, you're late, man! Wow, I miss Commerce even more.

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You probably don't wanna hear about the decadent buffet we had on Sunday at Bellagio. Ugh, just thinking about it, I'm still full. As I was rolling out of the buffet, I get very sad, because I ate so much. Well, after that buffet, I decided to lose weight. So 10 pounds in August. Let me tell you, I'm doing horribly. I have lost a whole 2 pounds in 10 days, even though I'm exercising and eating so little.... sigh.

Oh oh and before I leave you, I'm gonna put on my astronomer hat today and urge you to look outside the next few nights. The Perseid meteor shower is in full swing, with the maximum coming on the night of August 12. Along with that is a great planet conjunction, so you'll be able to see meteors, planets and much more. Just grab a bottle of wine go into your garden and enjoy... or like me actually debating if I should go camping on Friday :)

Next blog, how I hate online at the moment, but am racking up the points, how I pwn people at the Commerce and the home game and much more!!!

Posted By bellatrix at 08:40 AM


Tags: travel

July 25, 2010


I was thinking a lot these last few days. Not really in the mood to play poker, had stuff at work and we had visitors from Germany over, which kept me thoroughly entertained. They are off for the week until we meet up with them next weekend in Vegas, baby (so next blog will be a trip report again!).

We took our friends to a Dodgers game; it's always fun to explain baseball and the institution of going to a ballgame to foreigners :). But then I had to warn them that it might be a boring game to them. And it is a boring game to most americans... but I love it. Especially because of its monotonous nature!

It got me thinking about other things and I know I like little monotonous things that lead you to a result, e.g. driving cross country, analyzing a survey bit by bit (my work), building a 3000 piece puzzle etc. Poker is no different. In the end it can become a quite boring game and people experience burnout. I still love it, especially because of the monotony, some say familiarity that settles in, where the long run finally becomes a reality, just like in baseball. It made me think of the book "Momo" I read as a kid, still one of my favorite books of all time, a bit because of the sadness portrayed even though it's a children's book.

There is this one section that ALWAYS resonated with me, ever since I read that book when I was 9, it has always stayed for me, in times of despair when I thought I couldn't make it through the PhD, especially. Even then, when I was 9, I read and re-read it, it has become my philosophy at times, you could say. First the paragraph in german, because that's how I learned it and further down you can read the English translation, which is quite good in conveying the idea.


"Siehst du, Momo", sagte Beppo Straßenkehrer "es ist so: Manchmal hat man eine sehr lange Straße vor sich. Man denkt, die ist so schrecklich lang; das kann man niemals schaffen, denkt man. Und dann fängt man an, sich zu eilen. Und man eilt sich immer mehr, Jedesmal, wenn man aufblickt, sieht man dass es gar nicht weniger wird, was noch vor einem liegt. Und man strengt sich noch mehr an, man kriegt es mit der Angst, und zum Schluss ist man ganz außer Puste und kann nicht mehr. Und die Straße liegt immer noch vor einem. So darf man es nicht machen.
Man darf nie an die ganze Straße auf einmal denken, verstehst du? Man muss nur an den nächsten Schritt denken, an den nächsten Atemzug, an den nächsten Besenstrich. Und immer wieder nur an den nächsten. Dann macht es Freude: Das ist wichtig, dann macht man seine Sache gut. Und so soll es sein. Auf einmal merkt man, dass man Schritt für Schritt die ganze Straße gemacht hat. Man hat gar nicht gemerkt wie, und man ist nicht aus der Puste." Er nickte vor sich hin und sagte abschließend: "Das ist wichtig."
(Aus: "Momo" von Michael Ende)


Google translate:
"You see, Momo," said Beppo street sweeper "it is this: Sometimes you have a very long road ahead. You think that it is so terribly long, one can never make it one thinks. And then one begins to to hurry. And hurries you more and more, every time you look up, you see that it will do no less, which is still ahead. And one strains on even more, you get it with the fear and by the end is one entirely out of breath and can not. And the road still lies ahead. Thus we can not do it.
One should never think of the whole road at once, you know? You have to think only about the next step, the next breath, to the next brush stroke. And again and again only to the next. Then it is fun: This is important, then one makes a good job. And so it should be. Suddenly you realize that you've done step by step, the whole street. One has not even noticed how, and one is not out of breath. "He nodded to himself and said in conclusion:" This is important. "
(From: "Momo" by Michael Ende)


I think about that paragraph quite often when I play poker. How to focus on each hand and slowly the awesome graph builds itself. How by doing that it becomes fun. But if you wanna force something; "I need to win 200$ today!", "this is the WSOP I win a bracelet!" even seemingly little things like "I'll play 50k hands next month!" will make the time hurry along and you'll become engrossed in stress and will be out of breath and look always ahead and think of all the hands you still have to play. Just one hand at a time, at the end of the road you notice what you have accomplished and you'll be proud. I'm smirking and thinking at the movie "What about Bob?" where the psychologist tries to sell his book "Baby Steps", but the truth is that the overall idea is the right one.

I am not talking about complacency! Each step still has to be done and done right otherwise the big picture will be mediocre. I am not advocating laziness, quite the contrary, by taking the steps you are doing something instead of just throwing the hands up in the air and saying: "It's too hard!".

Posted By bellatrix at 09:58 PM


Tags: introspection

July 15, 2010

Tidbits in list form

- I hate Rush Poker, but somehow I guess I'll make it through Rush week on Silver status. 1/2 6m Rush is not exactly great in terms of game selection. In fact, the game mostly sucks. Still, I've been winning, hehe. Also weird how often you see premium cards, because of the "Quick Fold" button.

- Been playing at FTP ring games also. They c/r (semi)bluff more often. They also wait until the turn a lot, something that only happens at 5/T+ at Stars. 

- I actually wanna also get Gold Iron Man status. We'll see how that goes, since my weekends are really busy.

- One of those weekends (the last one of the month) will be in Vegas. One of our friends from Germany is on a mega honeymoon tour through the US and we'll be celebrating his birthday there. I hope I can get some cash game in, even if it's a low 4/8 game.

- I took somebody for 3% at the main event and he cashed for 21k yay, doubled my investment. Not bad for 5 min of PM/transfer work.

- World Cup is over :( Now I can go back at being a dumbass at sports in comparison to other people. Especially when it comes to prop betting :D

- Besides the 100 points at FTP every day, have only played ~900 VPPs over at Stars. Games at the times I play have been pretty bad. I've seen them at other times, they tend to be better and more game selection.

- I banned myself from 2p2 for a week, because of work. Seems like I didn't miss a thing. That makes me both happy and sad.

- I need to participate in hand postings and I need to watch more videos. Playing is so much more fun, though. And hey, I'm still winning.

- After all the excitement of WSOP, sweating friends and texting fellow poker players, it almost seems like a lull has settled in. But that maybe the heat wave that has descended on the LA area too. Good that I'm going camping into the mountains this weekend.

- That's it! 'till next week!

Posted By bellatrix at 04:31 AM


Tags: general

July 06, 2010

The straight path

It was exactly a year ago when it hit me. I was on my way to visit former classmates in Switzerland. I had a conference in Italy in a beautiful setting. I attended the conference like an obedient schoolgirl, but I dreamed to go out to my little hotel in a village above the overpriced city I was staying in, with its excellent food, the friendly people and a view of the lake to die for. I also dreamed of going back to play. If you look at my PTR, I made over 1200$ that week, just playing in the evenings, watching old movies and reviewing hands during the conference. Needless to say, the astronomy didn't hold much interest that week.

So I was on the train, watching Tommy's Series (back then it was the hottest commodity on DC) and looking forward to seeing high school friends again. I didn't grow up in Germany, actually grew up in Guatemala and attended the German school there. I am still amazed how accomplished my classmates have gotten. We've had a Wall Street Trader, a Miss Guatemala, a pilot, several lawyers, many business owners, a few engineers and so on. Heck, the two girls that were picking my up at the train station were very accomplished on their own. J worked at the UN in Geneva on International Health Issues and G was a coffee trader, traveling the world and dealing in Zug, where 40% of all coffee gets bought and sold (weird, I know).

However, while we were in school, basically only two people in the whole class knew what we wanted to do. That was M and I. For me it was astronomy, of course. Ever since the 8th grade, when I discovered physics and read books and books on astronomy. It was clear, I was good at math, this was what was in the cards. M always wanted to be a doctor. Since she was 14 she worked summers at the hospital (sort of like candy stripes in US, without the ridiculous suit) changing diapers in pediatrics and doing other sorts of dirty work. M breezed through med school and while I was working on my Masters, she was already doing her residency. Her enthusiasm for medicine was amazing, even over coffee, when I would visit home for holidays, she would talk about the glands in your mouth like it was something you should marvel at. I marveled at her decisiveness. Yeah, many found their "calling" in college, but let's face it, most of us just waffled around a bit. No, she was straight as an arrow. She went to Zurich to do some sort of specialization and was also training others in that specialization (please don't ask what, I could hardly keep up with the saliva stuff). Every time somebody would ask me about my classmates, she would be the example: "She had it all figured out from the beginning!".

So I was kind of surprised when she didn't come on that evening when us four where supposed to meet. Ah well, the life of a doctor, always on the go. We were at some fondue restaurant well into our 2nd bottle of wine, when we got the call from her. Clinic... no, I can't come... well... suicide watch... fuck!

Turns out that decisiveness, that perseverance, that stubbornness, that determined drive... ah well, yes that was there, but it burnt out. She was 30 and suddenly realized that all that she had done was medicine, no life. Crisis!

At first I felt smug. I had a kid and a husband, after all, right? But then... I felt it. It's that straight line that I always followed. I never veered off the path. If anybody asked me 15 years ago, what I would be doing 15 years from now, it would've been exactly that. I was so predictable! It really hit me and it hasn't stopped hitting me.

Well, at least I've got something to veer off the path now... poker.

Posted By bellatrix at 09:07 AM


Tags: introspection

June 29, 2010

Finally some live cash

So on Friday night on whim, I decide to go to Commerce. No reason, just that I've had the urge to play some live ever since Vegas. So even though I was tired, I down a big can of Red Bull and say to myself I'm good to go. And I was. After hearing the sad loss of the Dodgers to the Yankees on the radio (sigh!), I arrive at Commerce well and quickly.

Cash games are kinda slow. There's only 3 20/40 games going (two main and one must move) and it's Friday evening... Not only that, but I immediately get my seat, which means that the must move is not a very stable one. Still, I buy in and suddenly find myself in a wild and fast game.

After just a few minutes I get a tap on the shoulder. I've got this thing that after so many blackjack backoffs, whenever I'm in a casino and somebody taps me on the shoulder I get really paranoid and jerk (as in move) quickly around. Oh hai! It's Dale (numbnuts), just wanting to say hi! We chat a bit and the whole table suddenly looks at me: "Wait, we thought she was the unexperienced player, fish, what is she doing talking to the Commerce reg like they're long lost friends".

After I lose almost a rack where my AK K-high flop goes down in flames against a flush draw that hits on the river (in a preflop capped pot with 4 customers). and some other standard hands which I don't remember, the game breaks. I don't have to wait long though and get moved into a nitty main game.

Yes, but nitty game actually means, I can bluff now, hehe. I 3barrel QJs on a Khigh board (4, 2, 1 opponents per street) and take it down! Yay! I hit a full house with T7 in a 4way limped pot on the button (2pair on the flop, FH on river). And some other hands I don't wanna bore you with. I regain my losses and am actually up 200$ now.

So Dale and I go grab a beer and talk for like half an hour. We talk about hands and how online is meh and getting meh-er by the hour. But also just normal stuff. In any case I make it back just in time before they wanted to rack up my chips.

I would like to tell you more interesting stories, but there aren't really. I could tell you some tidbits that there were a lot of regs, so I wouldn't be amazed if we clocked 40hands/hour (no shenanigans at river, quick blind movement), very nice. However, we had the antics of LA's friendliest with all the card throwing and cursing, oh boy, I missed thee', fair asian ladies. I was up to being up 1 rack, before I gave some pots away, was down and finished the session up 90$. Yay 2BB! By now it's 3:30am, yaaaawn. Still, a great time was had by yours truly.


Online poker was ok. I played some Limit Omaha 8 at Pokerstars, when I couldn't get any action at LHE and was very happy with results. I mean the games are really aggro postflop, so it's a bit like navigating a mine field. But when people call with PLO hands (89TJds, JJTTds, QQ34), it's not that hard. It's 6max, though, so I still have some post flop I need to plug a bit. So far nutpeddling has been pretty easy, though. Maybe I should change my game, heh.

Been losing / breaking even with RB+bonus at FTP, so not much to say there :P


Completely happy about the World Cup results, obviously. Been following football A LOT. It's like that every four years, I get so invested, pfftt. The game on Saturday against Argentina is very scary. I'm praying for 2006 when we beat them in the Quarterfinals also on penalty kicks, that would be so so sweet. I remember I woke my daughter up from her nap on that occasion, because it was all just too much emotion and I needed to yell when Lehmann stopped those goals, she was just 5 months old back then hehe.

Posted By bellatrix at 06:46 AM


Tags: general introspection

June 24, 2010

Bellatrix does WSOP Ladies' Event 2010 - DAY 4

This is just gonna be a short post, just mending loose ends and thinking about the weekend in general.

The Sunday was very relaxed. I went and bought French Toast breakfast with eggs, bacon and sausages for the family and we had a nice breakfast on the balcony. The weather during our weather stay was very variable; it rained at some point, which I totally missed, since I was stuck at the Rio, it had been extremely windy. But on the last day it was nice and sunny, but not too hot. Perfect weather also for driving.

We then watched Germany trounce Australia 4-0 and I was just lying in bed with a huge grin on my face. An overall excellent weekend capped off with such a great game. After we checked out, we decided to go to the Bellagio to exchange some Euros that my husband still had left over from his last trip home. He has this hobby, where he buys old Mercedes from like the 70s or early 80s in California and exports them to Germany (no rust = original parts). It's going great, but my live bankroll has been annihilated on that venture. He came back from Germany with fresh cash and funnily the casinos are the best places often to exchange foreign currency at relatively cheap prices (ca 4-5 cents below Oanda) without any fees.

It was so sad, I could see the Bellagio Poker room almost bursting at the seams and it was only early afternoon. But no, I was here with the family and it was exchange and some gelato/capuccino before we hit the road. Bye bye Vegas! The drive back was uneventful again, only that we decided to hit an Indian Buffet as soon as we entered the Smog filled Greater LA area again instead of directly driving home and eating leftovers. Hey, weekend still a huge plus!

So now I sit here and think about the weekend. It was only on Sunday that I realized what a huge effect and discussions those dozen men that entered the event had. I still stand by my stance that I don't like the events but will continue to play them as long as they are offered. Every news outlet in poker reports on the bracelets, every poker podcast says even some smallish blurb about every event even if it is just rattling down the event winners. The publicity is just too huge and the field is just soft enough to pass the event up on "moral grounds".

I laughed at the Shaun Deeb video afterwards, how he tried to explain what was, in my opinion, a joke to him in the beginning. I burst out almost in tears of laughter when Annie had some thoughts on the matter and Daniel Negreanu started attacking her and talking about his poor assistant that satellited into the event. I mean, it was really funny and he's of course entitled to his opinion, but Daniel has been coming off as some grumpy bitch these last few blog posts complaining about everything. Annie and Daniel should just chill already. I read a lot more blog posts and opinions on the matter and it was pretty evenly divided, which I don't mind. It's going to be interesting what happens next year, though. Will more men try to enter? Will 2011 be the last year of the event?

A few more observations on the WSOP. This was now my 4th WSOP event and my first cash. I'm still way big in the hole for the WSOP, although I made up some ground. It's a huge grind machine and you take gambles on luckboxing into fame and a huge payday. The cash games are, of course, where the real money is made during the WSOP times, but sadly I did not participate this year. I was a bit more jaded this year, though. Like totally excited to enter the halls of the Rio again, see all the famous and semi-famous players wandering around, being super "busy". But never again with that starry-eyed naivete of the first year. After reading about the "slaughterfest" that is the WSOP from the Tao of Poker over and over again, after hearing the normal "pro" complaining about being 0/12 after 30 events (or something like that) on podcasts, you know that we are all just buying into the Harrah's marketing scheme. But it works and I'm still happy that people go to the "killing fields"; I hope to be back next year! Especially happy to meet cool people, make new friends and have great times in Vegas... besides the whole cards thing.

So now I'm back to my normal online grind. I have now officially left 1/2 behind or good having > 650BB for 2/4 and working myself slowly back to 3/6. Still clearing a dumb 300$ bonus at FTP, which I'll never manage, lol. Back in the comfort zone, it's relaxing almost, seeing > 300 hands / hour...

But for the last few days, when I think of Vegas again, I now have a huge grin on my face....

Posted By bellatrix at 06:50 AM


Tags: introspection travel

June 18, 2010

Bellatrix does WSOP Ladies' Event 2010 - DAY 3

I don't sleep very well. Both my daughter AND my husband manage to fall out of the bed, which is weird and very loud; especially the crying of my daughter afterwards, poor little thing. At 8am the phone goes off and it's a business call for my husband. Who the hell calls on a Saturday morning at 8am? But as I lie there in the bed I'm reminded of this old woman that was very tired at the end of Day 1 and asked why we were playing so long (it was close to 1am). They said something to her that for the tourney to run smooth, they had to play 10 levels. Then she suggested: "Well, why don't you start tourneys at 8am then?". I conceded her the win, because there's no way I would show up for a tourney at 8am so she automatically wins. The dealer was very diplomatic in telling her that's not the way that things work in Las Vegas.

Anyway, I get up at like a quarter to 10 and guess what, I'm not tired. No really, I feel good and I'm hungrrryyyy. We go to the Black Bear diner around the corner and I devour some Eggs Benedict with Hash Browns, mhmmm. While we're eating breakfast, there's some confusion with BBB about watching the game, it seems OTR15 wants to meet up with Joe and other DC'ers at an Irish Pub, but that Pub is packed (I saw the papers the next day guys, they photographed exactly THAT pub, it was packed). In the end it stays with watching the game at their place, but by then it had already started. And the limidonks house? It's super great and all, but it's faaaaar. Dudes, you should look in your garden if there are not any bodies buried underneath, because it's in the middle of nowhere in the desert. But alas, huge housing communities in the middle of nowhere... and they wonder why the housing market in Vegas went bust.

By the time we get there, the US is in the process of scoring their goal, or... let me rephrase that, the English goalie handing the US a goal on their platter. Lots of debates ensue about the chances of Green's survival etc. OTR15 is live blogging the whole event. PygmyHero makes nachos with cheese, but I'm still full from the Eggs Benedict.

I wish I could say some more about the game, but it was kind of boring in the second half. Both teams looked meh, like the US had some flow in their game but didn't capitalize and I could only see the English complaining. But meh, I'm german, so I'm biased and the English always look lol to me (are you still reading "ILoveBunnies"?). So after the anticlimactic draw we pretty quickly say our goodbyes. Nice to meet you, Jaybeastie and allstarrt!

We make the odyssey back to Vegas and I get there at 2:10pm when the event resumes at 2:30pm. Husband and Anna are on their way to having another great day in Vegas (GoKarting, MagicShow, the tigers and dolphins at Mirage, etc.). The weekly 1k just got their first break and it's a sea of people. And it's loud chatting and yelling into phones about chipcounts, bad beat stories... I'm still amazed by the AMOUNT of people. Hey, can you tell, I've never been to the main event?

I get to my table with 5min to spare. We unpack the chips and I quickly see like 3 shortstacks at my table. But wait who's that with the megachipsack in Seat 1? Dealer says it's Liv Boree's bag. Oh goodie, well at least she's on the opposite side of the table. And look heh, this time I came prepared with my DC hoodie, thanks Chuck! I didn't have any real heavy sweaters, just a bunch of long sleeved Tshirts, but the hoodie man, it's great for the Antartic that is the Rio. Notice how I still look happy putting out the blinds, even though my stack is nothing to write home about.

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Ok, shuffle up and deal. We're 19 off the money. I must admit that I said to my husband I wouldn't get into stupid dick waving contests, especially not at a Ladies' Event (yeah, bad pun). And I know I should play to win, but I got an M~10, 20bb; I don't need to play to go first in chips or bust. 800$ (the min-cash profit) is a lot of money for me, some of you may laugh, but leaving Vegas up 800$ would be sooo cool for me. So I know that they'll abuse me, but I think how cool it would be to fold myself into the money. Oh, how wrong I was...

The show should have been called "Me and Boree" (get it, instead of Dupree, no?, ah well...). It's like 20 minutes and like 10/136 ladies have busted. Not at our table, our table just keeps handing Liv their blinds and antes and if it's not Liv, I'll take them.

Bubble time, hand for hand. Who will steal the blinds and Ante's this round? Me or Liv? Very exciting... yawn. We're in the Top 3 finishing tables like 7/8 times. One time we saw a flop when somebody just wouldn't take it from Liv and defended her big blind aaaand then gave up on the flop. During the pausing between the hands Liv and I chat a bit. She's an extremely cool chick. I know she also studied physics / astronomy and we chat a bit about quantum, solid state and Jodrell Bank. Some other ladies are interested in my work and we talk a bit about the Hubble Space Telescope among others.

1-3 off the money, I don't remember. I'm in the small blind with Jh3h. Lady to my left is shortstacked, but not desperate shortstacked. Like I'd fold to her shove, but I can still put out a big enough raise to scare her. So I do, because there's these antes in the pot and I like black chips and my hand is sooted. And she pauses... Oh well, I guess our streak is broken, we won't be among the Top 3 finishers this time, we'll see a flop and I'll lose some more chips, but hey, maybe the flop will be 333... yes my mind is wandering like that while she is studying my face. And she folds JJ faceup. My face must have looked like Phil Ivey's when Jen Tilly checked her full house on the river. I know, I know it's not nice. The lady goes on to tell the whole table her story, that she was bubble girl last year, that she went out with exactly that hand, that she knew she was ahead, but didn't wanna get sucked out on...

Bubble bursts, we clap. The small lady in front of me is so happy. This is the first tourney she's even played in and she cashed. And she has 3bb left... Still, more power to her. I'm sorry if the following things are out of order, I honestly don't remember
- I pick up AQo in the CO, Liv opens, I 3bet and get the massive staredown, for like a good minute and a half. Wow, live poker, I must have like 20,000 tells, so I just think Eggs Benedict and she folds.

- I 3b a shortstacked CO open with JJ on the BTN and she folds QQ faceup pretty quickly. She has mumbles something angry like "... raising... what to do?" I have the same dumb face as in the J3 hands and it's dumb, because now the whole table knows I haven't been getting AA, KK every hand :P

- I open TT UTG, the nice little lady that had 3bb left goes all-in for her last 2.1bb. Liv does a massive re-raise, she has double my stack and I know that she's playing for stacks in a semi-protected pot. The hand is reported wrong on PokerNews  . I was the one that opened to 3,600, the other girl only had like 1,800 left. So I fold, because I'm chicken and don't wanna go out with a min-cash race and hey, she might have me dominated. Alas, she had AK and Liv said she would've played for stacks. The flop came low, but the turn was an Ace and I would've been out. Liv put me solely on JJ she later said to me. I think JJ was the theme of the evening.

- The last man of the tourney gets eliminated and the cheer is almost bigger than when we made the money. The floor lets him go with a "Congratulations, ma'am!" He actually looks pretty happy with the cash.

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1st break. See how I have more chips now? I have chipped up to 36k and have gotten over average. But the ladies have been busting pretty quickly, we're down to 88, so the average is like 33k, lol. I can't concentrate and go to the bathroom twice, because we're not supposed to leave our seats anymore and I wanna make sure. I must admit, I'm suddenly very nervous, I've got at least 2,124$ payday and I'm ok in chips.

After we're back I steal some more, but it's mostly the Boree show. She busts somebody with T9s (vs A5s, river 9), rivers a wheel on somebody (AT vs TT, I think). I sit there thinking I'm a damn chicken, because I'm actually folding to 3bets now. There are new players of course everytime Liv busts someone. This old lady sat down just before break, has somewhat a good chip stack, but I never see her play a hand.

Not... one... single... hand... In 30-35 minutes.

So she opens to 5x UTG, EVERYBODY gets out of her way quickly and I'm in the big blind with JJ. I think of what to do... I can't fold, yes, I saw some ridiculous laydowns this tourney (one lady folded correctly her KK to AA on a low dry board), but I can't do them, sorry. I got 40k and am thinking if I 3b to 18k can I still work with 20k in chips, fold to a 4bet shove? But what if I fold the best hand? Sometimes the over-raise (5x) with stuff like TT, 99 because they don't wanna get called. If there's an overcard they often won't cbet. That whole thing runs through my mind, I should've just shoved, she has me covered by 5k and gotten on with my life.

But I call, thinking that I might fold to a substantial cbet, because she won't cbet AQ or 88 unless she flops something, but she will cbet better.
Ah well, good intentions, but I have a brainfart. With a TT9 (BDFD, BDSD, lol limit players), I decide to turn my hand into a bluff and c/r allin. Just shoot me. I know the hand plays itself and I would've lost the stack anyway, but it's the play that matters, my dumbness. Yeah, she was AA and pretty much instacalls. Not even debating if I could have caught some part of the flop (there's a straight flushdraw out there for QJs and 78s). Anyways, I don't suck out and just like that, I'm out.

The organization of the tourney is amazing, you are led to the official computer that reports your position and all, then you go to the cage and the photocopy this and lead you there and you sign over there and... suddenly I have the cash in my hand. It all took like 15 minutes, but I'm still seeing AA > JJ in my head... :( Liv was very kind in that she said the hand played itself, but I do what everybody does that doesn't go out with a bad beat "could I have gotten away?"

As I sit there, some very nice friends congratulate me over Twitter. Everybody's very happy. And then I receive a picture of my daughter having one hell of a time at the GoKart track. She looks so happy... And yes, suddenly I'm very happy and the tourney is almost a distant memory now. I have A LOT of dollars in my purse (I had brought some to play cash games up to 30/60 + the 2k prize) and that gives me a huge grin. I feel balla. So I call my husband to go for dinner, my treat.

Well, the affair doesn't end up as fancy as I envisioned. Yes we have the wine and the Filet Mignon, but it's at a Coffee Shop, because it's Saturday night and the Strip is ugh, and every restaurant has a huge waiting line. But at least it's cheap and yummy, so there.

I tell my husband to hold me back, to not let me go seek out a cash game, because I'm in no condition to play poker right now. Yes, I'm happy now and I won and all that, but the hands are still lingering in my head. Ha! No money for you cash game players, I'm not donating today while on tilt! So we get to the hotel and I keep on reading "Girl that kicked the hornet's nest", almost finished the trilogy. I fortunately don't dream of poker that night.

Only DAY 4 remaining and the most exciting part is over. I'll continue on Monday most probably because I'm going camping tomorrow and Sunday is Father's Day.

Posted By bellatrix at 06:50 AM


Tags: travel

June 17, 2010

Bellatrix does WSOP Ladies' Event 2010 - DAY 2

Don't ask me how, but I wake up around 10am and somehow we even leave the hotel with the family at 10:30. We wanna get to Ceasar's Palace quick, because we absolutely love Peyard's and they have the best breakfast (even if it's a bit expensive). However, there's some sort of traffic jam and I just tell the husband to leave me at the Rio, since I forgot my Harrah's card and I still have to buy in for the event.

Well good thing, because there's a huge line. Apparently the country of France decided to come in at the same time and get cards and buy in to the event. I'm not kidding. Those Poker 770 shirts, caps and everything were everywhere. The frickin' eventual winner of the Ladies' event was wearing them (oh, I guess I let the cat out of the bag that I didn't win the bracelet).

Fortunately I get to the poker kitchen at like 11:40, so still have 20 minutes to enjoy a breakfast. Tables are pretty packed, so I ask a retiree couple if I can join them. They are sweet and talking strategy. Apparently they "grind" the local nightly tourneys "and break about even", but get a lot of comps). Some other ladies join, I don't know why I'm telling you these boring tidbits, but it all seemed so friendly, like everybody really was excited to play and meant the others well. No cynisism.

So I stroll to my table (187, seat 8 if you wanna check the photo-store out) and find out I'm the last woman there. Suddenly it all goes so fast, I barely sit down and Linda Johnson is on the microphone and says stuff that I don't understand, because everything is in sensory overload (France-Uruguay just started, I'm looking for TT to see if he entered as a man, my tablemates are introducing each other, I'm frickin' cold...). And "shuffle up and deal". I sit there slurping the coffee I bought, I'm soo sleepy and thinking about SLOWmaha, this is not a good sign, when your eyes are droopy already on the first level. The woman in the 1 seat gets AA and KK on hand 1 and 2 we fold and we all lol when she shows. Ok... loosen up. I enter the poker lull.

The black woman to my right keeps mumbling. She's really ADD, like she's checking her phone at least 5 times per minute, she gets up, walks around, then sits down, then mumbles some more. At least she gets busted within the first 30 minutes when her top set runs into the turned nut flush; cooler, everybody "oooh's" and that's about as exciting as it's getting.

After 30 minutes there are two announcements. First some scorn over the men that entered. I forget the exact wording, but something to the effect that Harrah's is very sad that they entered but they can't turn them down. The whole room explodes with chatter and opinions and my table too is like "What? Can they do that? Why?". I announce that I don't really care that the men enter, of course I don't mention that the media thinks the whole pink bracelet is a sham anyway and it's all about getting the most $. And the second announcement... "omg omg omg, the next woman that shows quads gets a 100$ gift certificate to the SPA!!!" *roll eyes*. I sit there thinking, 'what do I do with a 100$ spa certificate, where could I sell it?' when it hits after like 3 minutes they announced it. I really don't know what's worse, 100$ beef jerky certificates or 100$ spa certificates. Then, after another 5 minutes suddenly the whole room explodes in cheers and clapping... and even booing: the first man is eliminated! I'm a little dumbfounded and it's way far away, so I just sit there confused.

I steal some, first hour passes, am up to about T4500 from T3000 starting stack. Then this hand happens and I make one of my 3 lol-mistakes, yeah laugh, I can take it!
UTG limps, UTG+1 overlimps and so does some other player, SB folds, and I check my option with T6o.
Flop: QT9 ds, pot T225
Now, I always shuffle chips around. Because I am used to playing 20/40 live, this usually means that I shuffle 8 chips, so that I can always raise fast or quickly call on the big streets.
With the blind out I was under 8 green chips, so I just started shuffling the black chips. So I put out a feeler bet, T100 should be enough, if I get raised I can safely fold. But you know what happened, right? Yeah, I throw out 4 chips and the minute they hit the felt I look with eyes wide open that I have just bet 4 black chips and bet almost 2x pot. God, limit players are so dumb sometimes, haha. Not only that, but UTG and UTG+1 proceed to both call the 400 chip bet (MP folds) and the pot suddenly is over T1400. I am DONE with the hand, I'm thinking about open folding the turn... hey, what if a T falls, that could be neat.
Turn: T (not completing flush), pot T1425
I chuckle internally. Well, now I hope some of you gals slowplayed AA, KK preflop to limp-reraise. I still don't feel like jumping up and down, but at least my stupid flop mistake could turn into a goldmine. So I bet like T600. UTG raises all-in, UTG+1 folds after some deliberation, I fold also pretty quickly, still laughing in my head about how stupid the hand is and how I just lost over T1000 on this hand. But it picks up my mood, at least.

I could tell tons of stories, like the fat Eastern European chick that took ADD's seat telling everybody "I'm frrrraaam Porrrto Rrrrico" and everybody just staring at her. She flops quads and gets angry that she's the second one and doesn't get a spa certificate. I have a nice little chat with the little lady/girl on my left and after being friendly with her, she tells me she flopped a straight on that hand above. But then... our table breaks.

It's always weird getting to a new table; they know each other, they have their own dynamic, have had conversations, you feel lost. I'm in Seat 2. Seat 3 and 4 are in deep conversation and I swear I have seen them; they are wearing a Bay101 jacket, so it shouldn't be like rocket science, but they tell me they don't play the 20/40, just the spread limit. mhmm. Seat 9 is this really cool chick with like a ski jacket and aviator glasses. She suddenly yells across the room: "I need a tampon! Yo Seat 5, do you have a tampon?", like really loud. I look at our Seat 5 and I'm honestly just frightened at what's gonna happen... sigh, it turns out she was talking to the Seat 5 one table over - a man. This section, the main section of the tourney, is much more in tune on what is happening with the men, with the tourney and it's also extremely loud. I think about putting on some music on my iPod, but decide against it, because I often lose the action while listening to music.

Hey everybody, wanna hear another lol-mistake by bellatrix? Well, come this way ladies and gentlemen...
I have been at this table now for 5 hands and have taken 3/5 of the hands preflop. One from a limper, which I raised, and two blind steals. My image is kinda messed up as this lagtard probably, but I'm getting hands. So I'm CO or HJ and the lady to my right open limps, I raise to 4x with AcJc, fold to the BB. She says "raise" and puts out 3.5x the big blind. It takes a long time for the dealer to explain to her that I had already raised and that her verbal action is binding. She looks at me angrily, takes off her headphones (lol) and puts out her obligatory min-raise. Limper folds, I call.
Flop: A96
I forget the bet by her, but it was like standard cbet 2/3rd pot-ish. I'm a limidonk and call.
Turn: 6 T1000
She looks very very angry now... like even angrier than preflop and bets the like 400ish. Meh, I call. I laugh internally, because I'm a calling station.
River: A T1800
Wow, all the time I'm thinking. "I'm behind AK, I'm behind AK". Whoa, I win half the pot now, I got best full house. I got the nuts! (I mean, yeah 66 whatevs)... all the time I'm so happy that I pulled ahead of her AK so that we are now chopping, that I don't raise her bet all-in... I just call and the second I say "call" I realize how dumb I am. And she wouldn't have called, because she had KK so my point is moot, but still... how can I not raise with the nuts on the river?
The 1st break comes quickly and I'm thankful for that, they extended it to 30 minutes for the ladies, now ain't that nice [/sarcasm]. But with my state of mind after two botched plays in 2 hours it's probably good.

Back from break... yay, we have a man now at our table. And he looks exactly like Dawson from Dawson's Creek. He even says at some point that James Vanderbeek is his facebook pic. Poor guy, gets harassed immediately by some bitch (some Cardplayer honcho wife) that comes over and says they are all in big trouble. He just takes it smiling. Seat 9 won't look at him, much less talk to him (no asking for tampons).

I wish I could tell you more interesting hands, but I went on a huge dead card run. I mean, it's good, because I had 23o, 24o and 38o in the SB and gave the big blind a walk all three times and she angrily showed AK, A8, and QQ. Yep, those are the times you run good while running bad.

By the nth time it comes to me in the SB with one limper, I've decided that I'm bored and complete with Q2s. I'm a limit player and am an expert with bad hands, and hey, they are soooted.
Flop: J77, checked around
Turn: T badugi
I put out a 75% size bet and take it down with the antes, which have now kicked in.

Then I steal some blinds relentlessly, while not screwing with my image. I remain even. I fold JJ on the button to a massive raise by SB after some deliberation (I should have studied this folding move over and over again, as you will read in tomorrow's TR), she shows AA faceup. I bump up my chipstack quite a bit when I bust someone with me AA > AdQd on two diamond flop (but allin preflop, the scary flop was just to let me sweat). Finally second break is here.

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I check the pokernews website and find out the Shaun Deeb dressed up in drag to the event, haha. Also big controversy brewing over the men attending. Also noteworthy, in a cringeworthy way is that some moron decided to use a tampon as his card protector. I think back to seat 9 and her "tampon"-yelling, which she kept on doing throughout, so that I am a bit weary about the hoopla. After the break ends TT also walks by and talks to the dude at our table, we chat for a few seconds, really just a few seconds and the ladies look at me sternly, lulz. There are still cheers for every man that busts out, there aren't many left. Joy Miller (from "not Johnny" Chan fame) goes up on stage and apologizes for Shaun Deeb, but makes it seem as if it's ok to be a jerk to the rest of the men. It's all very strange and I'm not even aware of what is brewing in the back rooms of the media.

The next 2 hours is a whole lot of rungood. I am on the good side of "races" in that I flop a king with AK against 88, a K with AK against TT, a Q with KQs against 88 (again) and a shortstacked JJ all-in. And they always show when they fold... thank you, thank you for the info! I steal some more and the stealing outweighs the times when I have to fold to 3bets.

And the play is slowly but surely getting better. Besides some openlimping there's no huge fish at the table left. One woman delivered a sort of bad beat by going runner runner flush and apologized. A bunch of women immediately chimed in that they would never apologize for handing out a bad beat. This is different from last year, there's not tears when somebody busts out, no hugs. The girls are playing ok. I feel good, because that is the point of the WSOP, that poker gets played at a high level, but bad because, hey I want fish at my table goddamnit!

Dinner break... by this time, I'm freezing and yawning. My little long-sleeved sweater is not helping. The walk around the Rio does me good. I look at the 6max LHE tourney that started, suddenly I miss good'ol LHE and the calling down with A-high. Honestly, I don't know what I did the dinner break, but it was over in a hurry. I chatted with Joe Tall, he introduced me to his brother, I ate a banana and an apple, I skyped with BBB to finalize plans for the USA-England match next day. It is all becoming a blurr, I just remember being tired and not wanting to sit in that tourney chair again. T14k in chips, way above average, can't we just come back tomorrow?

4 more levels, 3 men left 9k average! I make calculations in my head to st.ay awake and suddenly it just flows. I play really good poker these next 4 levels, knowing when somebody is slowplaying, getting paid off on value bets, I bust another player with AK on KJ9 A x board. Our table breaks. On the new table like the 2nd hand I value bet two streets with Q7 on QT6 x J board and it's good.

I don't wanna be mean, but the new table I get moved to is fishier, yay! There's a bunch of players that know each other that are friends with Pam Brunson, one is Hoyt Corkins' personal assistant. It all seems very old guard and they play horribly. I keep on stealing blinds and antes and I'm drowning in green chips. I'm the official green chip changer haha. Well haha, I get to be the one that has to stay on the break for the color up, because I already have most of the green chips, lol. While I'm counting the green chip racks I sit there and ponder that I haven't had any "ooooh, I'm all-in" moments, I've just chip-chip-chipped up, slowly but surely. No coolers, no suckouts, no hero folds (well that JJ), just a boring limit player knowing the value of the blinds.

By now the whole room is very quiet, there's like 20 tables left, it's friggin' cold (have I mentioned that) and everybody's tired. Finally a level playing field haha. There's some weird dichotomy going on: some women just wanna make day 2 and are folding with 4bb's left (ok, I'm exaggerating) and some are just kamikaze. It's a big minefield and I survive by staying out of their raising wars. I do win the last hand with QTo on the BTN while BB angrily folds 22 to me (she had 5bb left, M~2.8): "I know what you're doing!". But she wants to make day 2, ah well.

Dawson Creek is the only man surviving into Day 2, I counted something like 10 cheers. I don't have many chips T19.4k whereas the average is something like T24k. But I'm happy and later I find out I'm actually median or even a bit better than median with my chip count. I finally arrive at the hotel at 2am and just beat, have a horrible sleep dreaming of cards haha...

Stay tuned for DAY 3 and DAY 4 coming up.


Posted By bellatrix at 07:02 AM


Tags: travel

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