Monday, February 26, 2007


26 FEB 07

In this case, the title of this post refers to my bankroll, not a particular hand. I had the day off, so I went to the ‘shoot again. I buy into the $65 morning tournament. 21 players and I took second for $300. A short break for lunch and I’m back at the tables. I buy into 4/8 with $60 and parlay that to $200, which I take to 10/20. I’m almost decimated before the rush of the century. Cashed out over $1700. Nice ROI, eh?

In describing a couple hands I played badly, I got into a disagreement with my wife. Keep in mind that she is a winning poker player, and I am not. Please settle this. I’ll try to be as objective as possible.

A very aggressive player is one to my right. It’s a kill-pot (15/25) and I’m the small blind. I’ve got the automatic post of $15 already out there. There are 4 limpers and the button raises to $30. I call with K3 hearts. 6 of us see a flop of 4 4 3. I bet right out and get two callers before it gets to the button, who raises. I re-raise. 3 calls and we see a 2, which also puts 2 diamonds out there. I bet again, and get two callers, including the button.

The river is a 5 of diamonds. Any Ace has the straight and anyone with 2 diamonds has the flush. I pause before checking. MP guy checks. Aggressive button guy pauses and bets.

What do you do?

Sunday, February 25, 2007


25 FEB 07

Played poker until 4 am. Lost a bunch. Woke up at 7:30am. Played a tournament with Stefan and Andrew. Lost. Lost the last-longer bet, too. Played 4/8 while waiting for Andrew to bust out.

Octupled up.

That’s right. Playing 4/8, I increased my buy-in 8 friggin’ times. I was obnoxious and boorish and all those things Michelle hates about me when I’m winning. And I did it all in under an hour.

Now I’m taking the family to the movies. Astronaut Farmer. It beats watching the Oscars.

Oh yeah – I saw Skitch and the lovely Mrs. Skitch. I think I may have taken some $$ off Mrs. Skitch. Heck, I took money from everyone at that insane table. Still, it’s great to know the Skitchs are still alive.

Go Sasha Cohen!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Getting Action

24 FEB 07

It feels good to finally have a little bankroll to play with. I took part of it to the Muckleshoot last night to see what I could do. Since they enlarged their poker room, the games are much easier to get into. I got immediate seating in a 10/20 – on a Friday night! In the past, I have waited over 2 hours on Friday or Saturday. This was a nice change.

I see a table full of regulars, including LV (and eventually her husband Ruben), my Army companions. LV says she’d dropped her paperwork to retire after 24 years. I’m just over 20, but of course I can’t retire. I’m jealous. I asked her if she was going to play poker full time. She just laughed and said she’d be looking for real employment soon. There was another military connection at the table, and actived reservist (I could tell he was in the reserves by the long sideburns and earrings). He works for Coke, but he’s being sent to Kuwait, I think with the Air National Guard. Apparently, Coke wants him to establish connections while he is over there. Good luck.

Anyway, to the action. I kept reciting Seattle John’s mantra (Good Pre-flop Discipline, Take Breaks, Patience!), and I really paid attention to everyone at the table. Within minutes, I was moved to the main game, and saw some welcome faces, including my ultimate nemesis, the guy who cracked my 3 full houses in 45 minutes (all three times with quads). I blogged about it before.

Anyway, it was a profitable night. Up 4 buy-ins, in fact. A couple hands I want to illustrate:

Hand #1: I’m UTG with pocket Aces. I’ve been playing loose, and there is a big kid on tilt at the end of the table who keeps talking about a hand I raised earlier with Q 8 that won at showdown. Of course I came in with a raise! He just wouldn’t let it go. Basically, he did all my advertising for me. In this hand, I played very straightforward, betting the whole way. 3 callers at the river and I dragged a nice pot. It’s great when they don’t believe you (provided your hand holds up).

Hand #2: I’m in the big blind with 3 5 off-suit. UTG raises and gets 5 callers before it gets to me. Of course I call, and we see a flop of A 4 6 rainbow. I check my open ender and UTG checks behind. Some MP guy bets, I call and UTG smooth calls. The turn is a 7 that completes my straight. I bet right out and UTG acts visibly startled. Again he smooth calls and we get one or two taildraggers. The river is an off suit 9, making a 5 8 the nuts. I still have the second nuts. Again I bet right out. UTG now raises! The other two fold, and I think for about 5 seconds before saying, “I guess if you have 5 8, you win. Re-raise!” He replies, “You think I have 5 8? Cap it!” I can’t call quickly enough. He proudly turns over his pocket Aces for top set. I just as quickly turn over my straight (I hate slow rollers) and watch with pleasure and he sits in stunned silence as a $400 pot is pushed in my direction.

Tonight or tomorrow night, I get to hang out with my old buddy Stefan. A new friend and poker player from work (Andy) may join us, too. If all goes well, I’ll have all their chips by sunrise. Nothing better then beating up your friends!

Friday, February 23, 2007


23 FEB 07

I had one of those surreal moments this morning. I woke up feeling fantastic and thinking that I had taken my business to the next level. I’m pretty sure it was just a dream I was having. Heck, it could have just been gas.

That said, I’m wide awake now and the idea I dreamt is viable. In fact, it’s very doable. I’m excited.

More to follow in the coming months.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Michele!

22 FEB 07

My sister is another year older today, and my present to her was also a present to me. Seattle gets tons of rain, but we also get some cool rainbows.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


20 FEB 07

So, my oldest son Jared is relating a story about a bad kid in his class. Apparently, the bad girl punched a friend of his in the stomach and then started crying to the teacher. Not only did his friend get a punch in the belly, she also got written up. Talk about adding insult to injury! He was very frustrated.

I explained about karma. I told him that the universe has a way of evening things out. Balance is the key. In our lifetimes, we all have about the same amount of good things and bad things happen to us. I used a very basic example of the death of my mom balanced with the joys of my family. I explained that just because this bad girl got away with the horrible act, you shouldn’t worry because the universe has a way of getting back at her. You may not see it first hand, but it will come. It always does. Now, if you are lucky enough to witness it first hand, try not to take too much satisfaction. Just look at your buddy, nod knowingly, and say, “karma.”

I’m still trying to figure out why the great balance of the universe keeps letting bad poker players suck out on me. I guess I must deserve it.

Now go look at Raw Vegas. The prop bets between Joe Sebok and Gavin Smith are hysterical. While you are there, check out the interview with the clown porn star.

PS. Go to Google Images and type in karma.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Slow Down, Buddy

17 FEB 07

Everyone has this buddy. You know, he’s the one that drinks too much at the boss’s party or drives a little too fast. Part of you wants to encourage it, for no other reasons than it’s fun and entertaining, kinda like college. Another part of you, the good friend part, wants to pull your buddy aside and say, “Give it a rest for a bit, eh bud?”

Theoretically, I’m a good poker player. I make great reads and have won huge sums of money. Right now, I’m in a terrible downswing, and I’m not handling it well. I need someone to pull me aside and say, “Take it down a notch.”

Seattle John is trying to do just that. He kids me that I’m his curse – when I show up, he starts running bad. In actuality, I’m probably good for him because I remind him how not to play. He was there are the ‘shoot on Tuesday. I collected my $200 high hand (straight flush to the 8) and sat in a 4/8 game while waiting for 10/20. In one hand, I showed John my Ace-high after everyone folded before dragging a big pot. He said, “That’s hard to do a 4/8.”


After I left the casino (down a bit), I thought more about his comment. I know he has read my posts regarding my play and specifically my problems with ego. Showing him that bluff was a screaming ego issue, and, whether he intended it or not, what he really was saying was, “Okay. You got lucky there. Nice play. Now take it down a notch and let the money come. Don’t force it.”

I’m not sure I heard the message at the time.

But wait. He is trying again! In a great post about running bad, he mentions me again. Without specifically calling out my bad play, he is again giving me great advice about how I can turn this around. It comes down to this:

- Good pre-flop discipline
- Take breaks
- Patience

My buddy Stefan is coming to town tomorrow and we will be hitting the Muckleshoot hard. I tend to gamble it up when he gets here, even though I know I should do the opposite. I am sitting on a small bankroll thanks to some big finishes in a few local tournaments. I think I’m ready to listen now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Valentine

My heart still beats like mad.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


13 FEB 07

I’ve got something planned for Valentine’s Day. I’m just not sure what it is.

Anyway, here is a riddle. What do you call a poker player who won’t (can’t?) learn from his mistakes?

Sunday, February 11, 2007


12 FEB 07

So, I’m railbirding the Full Tilt $300 buy-in tournament. 1st place is $151,000. Huckleberry Seed is the only remaining pro (God, I love that name). Whenever a pro is at a table, the chat room is full of railbirds hoping to get noticed. Some of the chat is comical. Occasionally, the pro will respond – in fact, I’ve seen Matusow respond a lot (he should probably just pay attention to the cards).

Anyway, follow this chat – it’s self explanatory:

Dealer: HuckleberrySeed wins the pot (50,614) with four of a kind, Jacks
SenorPokes (Observer): NICE HAND HUCK
TimKansas (Observer): rigged
TheKingIII (Observer): bs
surflexus (Observer): dems quads beaches
TimKansas (Observer): rigged
Bluffed1331 (Observer): GO HUCK
TheKingIII (Observer): riggged'
TimKansas (Observer): rigged
classyvassy (Observer): second 4 of a kind for Huck in this tourney!!!!!!!!1
JelloPud (Observer): rigged
TheKingIII (Observer): rigggggggggd
RiverMikey (Observer): KILL SWITCH
Uuuumaga (Observer): FIXED!!11

It’s enough to drive a person crazy.

Go Huck!

Update #1: Huck responds:

HuckleberrySeed: average iq of this rail=79

Update #2: Apparently I’m not the only railbird. My new friend from the blogger convention in Vegas and awesome author of, The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King, Michael Craig:

Michael Craig (Observer): Huck - way to shut down that table (and shut up the rail).
Michael Craig (Observer): But the railbird are like hydras - shut up one and two grow in their place.

Update #3: Huck finished in 15th for a payday of $6116. First place went to some dude named PlzDontBluffMe (or something close to that – I’m no tourney reporter). 10 hours = $151K. Beats working.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

So, You’re Havin’ a Bad Day

10 FEB 07

Just got back from my run. I didn’t run that much (if at all) this week because of a chronic problem with shin splints. I do the little toe-curling exercise, and it helps, but if I run too soon in the recovery phase, the pain comes back with a vengeance. Still, I wish I had cut back on eating since I didn’t “earn it.” I think my Monday AM weight will show this.

Today I’m off to the tax man. My side business was quite profitable, and it’s time to pay the man. Actually, I have been making regular payments to the federal and state government every month. It’s the part of the job I hate the most. I don’t mind paying the money. Believe me, I’m proud to be among the few entrepreneurs who can say that they started a successful business from day one. I just hate the actual business drudgery side of things. I just found out that there are companies that you can hire to do this for you. Who knows, this may become fun again.

Still, it’s better than a hole in the head.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


7 FEB 07

I was going to title the post, “I had a plan for you,” a line spoken several times by Daniel Negreanu on High Stakes Poker. I had a plan, stuck to it, and made a mistake. I think illustrating the mistake is more interesting than bragging about a particular hand.

Playing NL with a $500 cap (WA State rules), I’m two seats to the left of an Asian LAG who is in EVERY pot. He raises to $40 from the button and I call from the big blind with 10s 7s.

I check in the dark (we can argue the merits of this later), and the flop is 10 high, giving me top pair. There are two clubs on the board. He bets $50, his standard continuation bet, and I smooth call, letting a card come off (see, I’m maturing). My plan is that if the card is a 3rd club, I’m going to sell the flush. Sure enough, it’s a club and I bet out $95, figuring he’d fold, which he had done multiple times to pressure. He smooth calls me!

I have no idea where I’m at, but I put him on the bigger flush draw. He has $60 left in front of him, so I go all-in in the dark. The river is an Ace, and I realize he stuck around with Ace high as he is calling. Sure enough, he flips over his top pair and I huff as I sit back all pissed off in my chair.

But wait, why is Micah (the dealer) pushing me the pot? Turns out that the turn card was a club – the 7 of clubs. I never saw it because it didn’t matter to me at the time.

It should have.

I said to the table, “After a mistake like that, I need to leave.”

And I did, right after flipping Micah a $5 toke.

PS. Saw Seattle John. I hope he turned it around after I left. I’m bad luck for him apparently.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

So, You Think You’re Tough?

6 FEB 07

I have weird kids. They’re great, but weird. When asked what they wanted for dinner (and McDonald’s was clearly on the short list), they emphatically chose Thai food.

So we are off to one of our favorite places, Bangkok Garden. They make a great Pad Thai and a pretty good Green Curry chicken. My 4 year old has a bathroom fetish and insists on asking to go right when the food arrives. This time he asked to go long before the food came, and he said he didn’t feel good. My wife and I give each other the staredown and it (as usual) defaults to me to run him to the restroom.

Okay. So, we are off to the restroom. He spends a couple seconds looking around and then says that he feels better now. “Do you want to try to go potty?” I ask. Nope. All done.

Until 2 minutes after we get back to the table. “I don’t feel good.” Off we go on trip #2, followed shortly by trips 3 and 4.

Trip #4 was different because he was doing the puffy-cheeks on the way and he had a more lively step. We get down the long hallway and he makes it just in time to relieve whatever was bugging his tummy right on target ("I didn't make a mess Daddy!"). A quick clean up and we are back to the table.

Unfortunately, we had ordered by this time and I’m thinking we may need to make this “To Go.”

Not this kid. I never saw someone wolf down Chicken Sate faster or more voraciously, smiling the whole way. That’s one tough kid.

I think he’s ready for college.

Monday, February 05, 2007


5 FEB 07

First off, heck of a Superbowl, eh? That’s about as sloppy as they come, but as expected, Peyton’s Colts rose to the top. I was impressed with his patience and how he picked apart the defense. Shannon Sharpe talked about the good Rex and the bad Rex. I guess it was the bad Rex who showed up.

I’m still recovering from the Snickers ad. Who was this trying to appeal to? Are people rushing out to buy Snickers because two men kissed? From a technical standpoint, the ad did a good job of making the audience go, “Oh no. What the heck is he doing? Oh God. He’s not gonna… HE DID!

Now that I think about it, doesn’t the actual bar remind you of anything?
But that’s already far too much press for the Snickers company. This is not a paid advertisement, after all. Let’s talk about me, shall we?

My weightloss program was going along swimmingly, but this week was rough. The whole family has the sniffles, and I think I used that excuse to slack off on my run. I have been steadily losing a pound a week since New Years, but this week saw no change from last week. I think I’m going to try the old smaller-meals-more-frequently plan, and see if it has an affect. It’s always worked before (provided I stick to it).

Weight: 179

Friday, February 02, 2007

Make A Wish

2 FEB 06

My dad and I love to come up with million dollar ideas. Then we bounce them off each other, work out the details and then sit back, content in the realization that if we weren’t lazy bastards, we’d be filthy rich. Many ideas stop right where they started, but some will occasionally find their way into popular culture. We just sit back and say, “Yeah. We thought of that first.”

I had another idea this morning. I’m sure there is something like it already, but I don’t know about it. I’d like to create a Make A Wish foundation for healthy rich folk. The money would still go to the charity. The premise is for people with disposable income to search down a menu and look for a chance to realize a dream.

For the longest time, I’ve wanted sing one of my songs with Sting singing background. I have no way of calling Sting. (Uh. Hello? Mr. Sting? This is Dr. Chako. Do you think you could listen to my song and… CLICK). Maybe he’d be willing to donate his time to a charitable cause and make himself available. Heck, with internet technology, he’d never have to meet me (or the other psychos out there with similar ideas).

What would you want your Make A Wish to be?