Monday, November 21, 2005

Blogger NL Action with Wil F***IN’ Wheaton

21 NOV 05

So, I didn’t think to copy the chat portion of the conversation where Wil Wheaton and I had a “geek-off” (BTW- I’m a HUGE geek, but I think he may have me. He did write a book called “Just a Geek,” after all). I mentioned that I sited Bones McCoy in my application to medical school, and it was met with stunned silence. Perhaps no one believed. Well, technically it’s not true, but I did talk about McCoy in my interviews. It helps that most doctors are huge Star Trek fans…

I intended to just post the portions of the conversations that involved me, but there was some pretty funny exchanges between another of my blogger heroes (Dr. Pauly) and Wil:

DrPauly: i got the hammer wil
Wil Wheaton: sigh
Wil Wheaton: dammit
Wil Wheaton: you should call
Wil Wheaton: so you can show
Wil Wheaton: for serious
Dealer: DrPauly, it's your turn. You have 15 seconds to act
BStouts [observer]: call him
Wil Wheaton: wuss
Dealer: Wil Wheaton has two pair, Kings and Queens
Dealer: DrPauly has a pair of Sevens
Dealer: Game #3101315314: Wil Wheaton wins pot ($8) with two pair, Kings and Queens
Wil Wheaton: DING
DrPauly: asscock
Wil Wheaton: hahahaha

And this gem:

Wil Wheaton: eight no goot?
DrPauly: i got 7-3 wil
DrPauly: but do i have hearts
Wil Wheaton: really?
Dealer: Wil Wheaton, it's your turn. You have 15 seconds to act
Wil Wheaton: i have a pair
Dealer: Player Wil Wheaton has requested TIME
Wil Wheaton: it's not a good pair
DrPauly: raise me
Wil Wheaton: i think i'll just call
DrPauly: i'll show
Wil Wheaton: heeeeeehaaaaaawwwwww
Dealer: DrPauly has a straight, Four to Eight
Dealer: Wil Wheaton has a pair of Eights
Dealer: Game #3101363457: DrPauly wins pot ($0.99) with a straight, Four to Eight
Wil Wheaton: nice - hahahaha

It’s always a good idea to insult your gracious host:

Wil Wheaton: now i think i win because i chased it all the way and got there
Dealer: Game #3101378370: Wil Wheaton wins pot ($1.39)
Wil Wheaton: i told you i chased it like a donkey
Wil Wheaton: i felt it
Wil Wheaton: i was going all the way
DrChako: you win back the donkey title
Wil Wheaton: YES!
Wil Wheaton: Heeeeeee Haaaawwwww (shows just how gracious)

This one did involve me:

DrChako: okay - my last hand – it’s my wife's birthday (which was quite true – happy birthday, honey!)
DrChako: take it easy on me
Wil Wheaton: everyone call so chako can have fun on his last hand
Wil Wheaton: wheeee
DrChako: i got a piece
Wil Wheaton: you should totally win, because it's your last hand
Wil Wheaton: i just flipped the switch for you
DrChako: this is my pot
DrChako: are any of you listening?
Wil Wheaton: ding!
DrChako: darn
Dealer: Game #3101545295: PhoebusX wins pot ($1.27)
Wil Wheaton: that wasn't very nice, phoebus
PhoebusX: hehe, sorry
Wil Wheaton: see ya dr.chako :)
Tactix: happy b-day to the wife!
DrChako: thanks - she's sweating me, so you told her yourself
Wil Wheaton: happy birthday!

I won about $2.50, but more importantly had more fun playing poker then I can remember. Thanks again to all involved. I hope to see some or all of you in Vegas.

Final thought: I wonder if the birthday greeting from Wil meant more than the birthstone ring I got her…

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Atomic Hammer

15 NOV 05

The blogger community has united around certain nomenclature. 72 off-suit is known as the hammer because of its awesome (and stealthy) powers. Here is my version – the atomic hammer:

(Warning: Hand History)

Hold'em No Limit ($0.25/$0.50) - 2005/11/14 - 21:19:51 (ET)
Dealt to DrChako [7c 2s]

*** FLOP *** [7s Js 2h] BAM!!

*** TURN *** [7s Js 2h] [2d] BAM BAM!!

*** RIVER *** [7s Js 2h 2d] [2c] ATOMIC HAMMER, BABY!!

*** SHOW DOWN ***

DrChako: shows [7c 2c] (four of a kind, Deuces)

Of course, that set the stage for my bust out from a live tourney last night. Playing at PJ Pockets in Federal Way, I had AA and raised to 3xBB (it was my second AA of the night - should have folded pre-flop), and got two callers. The flop was KJ3 rainbow. First all in had Q10 and the second all in had K8.


An 8 on the river sent me home.

Final thought: All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. - Mark Twain, Letter to Mrs Foote, Dec. 2, 1887

Thursday, November 10, 2005

SNG and Publishing Update

10 NOV 05

Boring stuff to just about anyone but me, but here goes:

Buy-In: $15.00/$1.00 - 18 players
4th place. $27.00
Buy-In: $5.00/$0.25 - 4 players
1st place. $20.00
Buy-In: $15.00/$1.00 - 18 players
1st place. $108.00
Buy-In: $15.00/$1.00 - 18 players
4th place. $27.00
Buy-In: $15.00/$1.00 - 18 players
3rd place. $54.00
Buy-In: $11.00/$1.00 - 45 players
6th place. $29.70
Buy-In: $11.00/$1.00 - 45 players
6th place. $29.70
Buy-In: $15.00/$1.00 - 18 players
2nd place. $81.00
Buy-In: $11.00/$1.00 - 45 players
6th place. $29.70
Buy-In: $15.00/$1.00 - 18 players
4th place. $27.00
Buy-In: $15.00/$1.00 - 18 players
1st place. $108.00
Buy-In: $11.00/$1.00 - 45 players
1st place. $153.46

That’s $694.56. Not too shabby. Of course, it’s meaningless unless you know what I spent for all tournaments entered (including those I didn’t cash in). I can tell you that my bankroll has climbed, so my tournament play is clearly +EV. In the future, I’m going to change to the Drizz format and just state total gain/loss.

It occurred to me that online poker has given me a scary gift. Most poker pros probably get this knowledge after years of the tournament grind. I’ve gotten it after less than one year of play. It’s this – make good decisions and you will win in the long run. Bad beats, and even bad moves will take care of themselves. Doyle said it best. He was talking about the play of individual hands when he said that he stabs at smaller pots and wins quite often. This allows him to take bigger chances when he may not have the best hand because even he is supposed to make his share of draws and suckouts.

I’m applying this same attitude to tournament play, and it’s done two things:
1. It’s allowed me to make more aggressive plays closer to the money, and
2. If feel less bad when I don’t hit.

That coupled with a plump bankroll has given me a lot of confidence, and confidence breeds winning.

Final thought: There has been early and positive interest in my publishing idea. Please keep your thoughts and ideas coming (and next time post them on the blog – don’t be shy!). One idea was to pay the writers up front AND offer some kind of royalty. Good idea. My new plan is to distribute 50% of the net profits to the writers. What’s not to like?!?!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


9 NOV 05

I love reading other poker bloggers. Our great secret is that there is so much to learn. Good poker bloggers teach you a lot about poker theory, how to play individual hands and how to manage your bankroll. Great poker bloggers teach you about life.

Dr. Pauly mentioned the other day that he still hasn’t published his books yet. I had a publishing company for a while, and I would have loved to publish it for him. Unfortunately, with the advent of self-publishing and the lack of great writing, I stopped after one novel (a very good one by Hunter Silvastorm, check it out if you get the chance).

But now I’m thinking that there is already some great material out there, and it sure would be easy to compile it into book form. The marketing is already there – bloggers would surely push the book, especially if their own work was included. I still have to decide a target price and such, but I was thinking about offering cash for great submissions. Heck, I might even try to get Wil to write the forward…

Your thoughts would be appreciated. Would you let me incorporate some of your best stuff? I’m thinking like $50 for five great submissions. Of course, I get to choose which ones get included (and who gets paid), but do you think this would work?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Vegas Recap

3 NOV 05

Okay. I got it now. Poker is (+) EV. Gambling is (-) EV.

But gambling is fun!!

I broke down the totals from my trip last week to Las Vegas.

NLHE: (-) $190
LHE: (+) $90
Tournament: (-) $124

Roulette: (-) $60
Craps: (-) $6
Blackjack: (-) $10

Total: (-) $300

It would seem like Limit Hold ‘em is my specialty, but I don’t think that’s true. I killed the No Limit tables at 1-3, but GOT killed at 2-5. Once again, I bought in for the minimum and I was over my head. When that happens, I don’t bet appropriately. I know that. I KNEW that, yet when that 2-5 table opened up, I sat right down. There was one famous guy at the table – people called him Cowboy. You’d recognize him from the WSOP broadcasts. He cleaned up and overbet when he knew someone would fold. That’s such a powerful tool, and I had it in my arsenal at 1-3, but not at 2-5. I couldn’t pull the trigger on a $200 bluff. I did in fact pull the trigger on a $90 semi-bluff at 1-3.

I have Q 10 off with the Queen of clubs. I raised to $12 on the button and get two callers. The flop comes all clubs, King-high. I had a straight and flush draw. The first position guy bets $15. That screamed “continuation-bet.” The second guy just called, so I put him on a draw. He was a good player, so I knew he would fold if I bet appropriately. I paused for effect, and bet $90. Both folded, and I raked a decent pot.

Here is one hand I’m not sure I would play differently. I’ve gamed several scenarios, and all have me losing, sometimes losing a lot more than I did.

Playing 1-2 NL at the Sahara. There is a bully to my right who refuses to chop the blinds. He raises to $10, and I call with 4 5 off.

Flop A 4 4, rainbow. Sweet.

He bets $10 and I quickly call.

Turn 7.

He bets $20, and I quickly call.

River 7. Full house, baby.

He checks.

I take my time and bet $30. He quickly raises to $100.

Pocket aces? Case 7? No way. I put him on AK.

I call. He turns over K 7 diamonds for the higher full house.

Before the night was over, most of us at the table had his money, but I heard from one of the locals that he wins more than he loses. Go figure.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Movin’ On Up

3 NOV 05

I’ve finally figured out my motivation for playing poker – making money. You laugh, but it’s not as obvious as you think. Up until now, I’ve been playing for the challenge and the adrenaline rush, and I’ve had plenty of both. My bankroll stagnated for a while, but now that it’s on the upswing, I’ve been afforded the luxury (no pun intended) to do some soul searching. I want to make some serious money. Granted, I do pretty well in my career as a physician, but this endeavor is separate. In order to call myself a successful poker player, I need to set a goal, and not stop until I achieve it.

That goal is $25,000.

Okay. It may sound unrealistic to some, but after spending a week in Vegas and watching a guy blow that much in 5 hands on the blackjack table, I think it’s a good and attainable goal.

Now, how do I do it? Here is a start:

Buy-In: $25.00/$2.00 - 18 players

You finished the tournament in 2nd place. A $135.00 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

That’s right. I’m moving up in limits in online tournaments. Up until now, I have only played the $15 + 1 two-table SNG’s, and have been doing quite well. I found the skill level at $25 to be no different. I wonder how it will change as I move to the $35 and $55 tournaments. I also intend to play the bigger tournaments more often.

Stay tuned.