That State of Mind TM
+ Life. Poker. It's a State of Mind.
AcesAce Online Poker

Monday, October 31, 2005 

Gambling and Poker = Apples and Oranges

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does God exist? What is the meaning of life?

Is Poker gambling?

I'm pretty sure every serious poker player has encountered this question or has gotten into a debate with someone about this. "Oh, poker? i'm not into gambling." "Poker huh? good luck!" We've all heard comments like these or somethig like it. I sometimes find myself trying to explain to some ignorant guy condemning poker as a vice, as something "bad", that it is not gambling, only to have it fall on deaf ears and a closed mind.

So what is it really? Of course we can't deny it, there IS a gambling element in Poker, in the same way that there is a gambling element in ANY business that you can go into, or investing in the stock market for that matter. To differentiate between gambling and investing, you can see it as either taking chances or taking risks.

Taking chances is associated with gambling. When you take chances, it is unpredictable. You have no control over the likelihood of a particular outcome. Throwing the dice will not give you control of what numbers will come out, same as the reels of a slot machine.

Taking risks is the same as making investments. When you invest in something, you go into it on a calculated risk of making more money out of your investment. There IS a risk of losing your investment (as any person who has ever put up a business will understand). A lot of people has lost everything they have on the stock market, but you don't see anyone complaining about it.

The magic word here is control. When you have the power to influence the outcome of something, you have control over it. Now, the extent to which you can control the outcome will depend on your decision making skills, that is, if you can make the right decisions at the appropriate time. When your money is on the line, you make the decision, and if it is the right decision, you gain from it. Your investment will earn from it. Now, there is also the element of chance involved, meaning you can make the right decisions most of the time and gain on your investment most of the time too, but there will be times when factors you cannot control will come into play, and it can affect your investments to some extent, even if you make the right decisions.

Playing poker is more like investing in a sense that when you invest, you get to make all the right decisions before taking the risk. Game selection, seating position, call or fold, bet or raise, who should you play against, what stakes will you play, all these things are information you can derive to calculate the risk of making money or losing money. Now, if you have all the right knowledge and skills to make the right decisions at the right time, you will win and gain on your investment most of the time.

In our lives, everything we do is risky, even just crossing the street. But if you make the right decisions, and look both ways before crossing, the likelihood of you getting hurt is diminished to almost an impossibility.

Just like poker, if you want to avoid getting "hurt", look to your left and your right before playing, and make sure the tight player is on your left, and the loose guy is on your right!

Friday, October 28, 2005 

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling on the River(house)

Played in the Riverhouse for the first time tonight. Great place, great people, great poker!

The place was busy! It's great to know we got a lot of poker fanatics on the northern end of the metro too. Three tables and the house was packed. There were a lot of new faces iv'e never met at the tables before. i even met some friends who i didnt even know played poker! Kath and i got there and we were barley enough to fill one table but before you know it, people kept on coming in and filling up the other tables. I just have to say that it was very refreshing to finally play the good old ring game with practically all new faces (except for kath of course). It was a rush that i havent felt in a long time, and it was good to feel that again.

i did pretty well considering i was down 1500 about 3 hours into the game, but got back to almost even (cashed out 1100 i think) before we had to leave. A major blow to my stack was when a new guy just came in and sat to my left. The guy (Sean, a pro ball player) sat and played his first hand and was smack talking (but all in good fun) already. I had Qd-9d, and got to see a flop for cheap. flop came Jd-10d-2d, giving me a flush AND an open-ended straight flush draw. i bet 100, about half the pot at this point. He re-raised me, all the while doing some more smack talk, so i put him on a draw for the flush and just called his raise. (i wanted to push him all in but for some reason i wanted to see the turn first.) Turn was another Jack. He pushes, i call. he had pocket 2's and got the Full house on the turn! oh well, the straight flush didnt come out so no river story here hehe. Kath played awesome and walked out with 2000!

Kudos to the FAPA boys for doing a great job on the Riverhouse. Youre doing a great service to the Poker community and we all know that the rewards are gonna be exponential for us guys taking the first steps in building this Poker scene.

To those guys looking for new games and fresh new players to play against, check out the Riverhouse! I'm pretty sure i'll be back next week!

Sunday, October 23, 2005 

The Rooftop Invitational

The Rooftop invitational was a helluva tournament!

Three tables of the finest poker players in the country today came and were ready to play. Sadly, several other excellent players failed to show up or make the buy-in for the tournament, the biggest one yet in our local scene. The huge pot up for grabs (145K), 5 places paid, and a relatively small (but definitely the toughest) field made every serious poker players' mouths water with excitement!

Almost a third of the players in the game got in through sattelite tournaments held the whole week before. Several players even got staked by other people to play the tourney, with the top players selling shares of themselves for a piece of the buy-in. Some even grinded it out in the cash games weeks before the tournament to make their buy-in. All in all, this really wasnt about who had the big bankrolls, but about who was ready to take their poker skills to the next level and are willing to play for bigger stakes, in preparation for even bigger things to come.

Maybe 3 or 4 people in the tournament were playing for pride and prestige alone, since the prize money did not matter to these people. And that was fine too, because if you love poker, it is really not about the money, and these guys love the game more than most players out there right now. (hey, two of those people ended up winning 1st and 2nd!)

The action was intense and the atmosphere was different from what we were accustomed to. i found myself so scared to get taken out early in the game that i went all-in pre-flop (after getting a few callers and a raiser) and flipped over my pocket aces saying "call me if you want."!

eventually, after several hours of playing, my uber tight play eventually caught up with me when i made a crucial call on an all-in with a smaller stack (i had less than average stack at this point) and my K-Q got beat by his K-6 (4-5-8-K-7 on the board!) . This forced me to go all-in with an AK offsuit and as luck would have it, someone had pocket jacks. A 13th place finish for me.

The final table was amazing! Amazing comebacks from small stack on the river, A nut flush getting beat by quads, A-7 beating A-K, A-K vs. QQ with AK hitting the ace on the flop, Q coming on the river, and a LOT of other exciting hands! it was a rollercoaster ride! Down to the final three, it was Ace from A55, Big Wally, and Mr. Lobregat with a WALL of chips in front of him. Ace held on and even almost evened up with the big stacks after starting out with the smallest stack, but eventually lost to the two big stacks he was up against. Heads up didnt last too long, not more than three hands i think, with the winner being Mr. Lobregat, walking away with a cool 72,500 and a beautiful silver cup to boot.

Congratulations to everyone who participated, you were all part of Philippine Poker history once again. To Ace, welcome to the 3rd place club haha! Big Wally, one of the best players and poker mentors in the country, a man who truly loves the game, and to Mr. Lobregat for winning it all in a field of the toughest players in the country today.

Thanks to poker filipinas, A55 poker, and the BBC for bringing us this fine, fine tournament. Believe us, the next one is going to be even better!

Thursday, October 20, 2005 

The Turn of the Tide

Can you feel it?

i can barely contain my excitement...

To most of us, we probably believe that the poker scene right now has reached a certain peak, an amazing achievement in terms of how fast we are growing and where we are right now compared to barely six months ago. After all the big tournaments, after the card rooms being established, and after, of course, WPT philippines being announced, a lot of us may be thinking that this is as good as it gets.

But in the the words of Gandalf the Grey...

"This is but the deep breath before the plunge."

We have reached a critical point in the development of the local Poker scene right now, and to those involved in this community, you can probably feel something stirring... like something about to burst right out of its small container that is barely holding it in. Something is brewing, and we can smell it...

Believe us, this is just the tip of the iceberg my friends.

i just have to give credit to the BBC, the spearhead of these amazing developments in the local poker world. The BBC took the first steps that nobody wanted to take, and with just barely nothing but the balls to do it made things that the rest thought would never happen this soon, happen. To everyone who has made this state of mind a reality, you deserve all the credit. I'm not just talking about the people who created it, but the people who are the lifeblood of the BBC, the players.

And in return, the BBC can assure you of better times ahead. We want to represent the best of the best that our poker community has to offer, be it the games, tournaments, players, card rooms, whatnot, and the BBC WILL deliver.

Stick around guys, the best times are just around the corner.

Viva BBC!


What are the odds?

A few days ago I was watching a hand play out on the 10/20 hold’em game at The BBC. Several players were in the hand, and there was some considerable pre-flop action. When the flop came, the guy who was first to act bet a large amount, prompting the next guy to take a while to think about his move. I made a comment saying “hey, if you have a flush draw (it was showing on the board), you have about 18% chance of hitting it.”

As soon as I made a comment, a couple of players in the game immediately “corrected” me saying “No, its 38%.” I responded by saying that I was only talking about hitting it on the turn, and not both turn and river. They then said “ No, it’s 38% on the turn, and about 8% on the river” or something like that. I didn’t want to argue anymore so I just shrugged and didn’t make any more comments. It’s hard to argue with someone who thinks they are right, and I believe most of us in our small community would like to think that we DO know what we are talking about when it comes to poker.

I’d like to think that most of us (including me) are in some ways still pretty damn clueless when it comes to the science of poker. Im gonna post something i learned from a poker newsletter i get on email about calculating odds and i hope it helps everyone understand poker odds better.

Say on the flop you have 4 hearts, and the chance of hitting your hand (flush) on the turn is 19.15%, and the chance of hitting your hand on the river is 19.57%. (these are mathematically correct odds) So, at the point of the flop, isn't your chance of hitting your hand at the end 19.15 + 19.57 = 38.72%

Most of us think this way, that we should add the percentages of the turn AND the river and base our decisions from those odds, but that actually should NOT be the case! It is actually a very crucial mistake that's gonna cost you in the long run! In the math point of view, they DO NOT add up, although it is relatively close.

Here is a very good and easy to understand example of how it works.

Say you take a coin and you want to get tails for some reason. Now you know your odds of getting tails is 50% (heads or tails are the only possibilities). Now let's say you want to know your odds of getting tails if you flip it TWICE. You have a 50% chance of getting it the first time, and a 50% chance of getting it the second time right? So does that means you have a 100% chance of getting tails? of course not, since you have the possibility of getting heads TWICE, right?

This is exactly like in poker, the turn card being the first "coin flip" and the river card being the second. You dont just add up the chances of making the turn and the river for the same reason that you cant add 50% to 50%.

Now the answer to the coin flip question is that your chances of getting tails at least once is 75%. You an break it down into four possible outcomes:

1st flip: heads/ 2nd flip: tails
1st flip: tails/ 2nd flip: tails
1st flip: tails/ 2nd flip: heads
1st flip: heads/ 2nd flip: heads

So those are the possibilities, 3 out of four times you will get tails, which is 75%. Taking this into consideration, we can now see that computing your odds for BOTH turn and river and basing you action on this CAN cost you a lot of pots. Why? because it just shows that computing for odds on BOTH will make it appear that your chances are better than they actually are. Another thing is if you use BOTH and total them, you are comparing them againt the current pot size thus giving you WRONG pot odds. to put it more simply, you will be making a decision to call when the odds are, in reality, AGAINST YOU.

ALWAYS calculate odds based on one card, and not two for the simple reason that you must anticipate the next bet. Why will you calculate your betting odds for BOTH turn and river in advance when you DONT know what the bet after the turn will be? makes sense doesn't it?

Just remember, always base your calculations on one card, and not two.

and another thing, NEVER EVER calculate runner-runner odds simply because the percentage is so small that it is insignificant (less than one percent). anyone on a table who chases a runner-runner draw is what we call DEAD MONEY.

These are just a few points that can be learned and is available out there to anybody who takes the time to look it up and research about it. We can all do our share in improving the whole poker community by learning about things like this and sharing the information to other players.

Remember, the better everyone gets, the more we all improve as a whole.

Monday, October 17, 2005 

The Academy presents: The amazing no-look all-in deal

just got home from BBC, it's 6am. I was just witness to one of the most amazing hands of poker i have ever seen, and i even have a picture as proof of it! ( as soon as i upload it, i will insert it in this post)

so here's how it went. It was the last 3 deals with the last 3 players left in the house which was Gilbert, Warren, and The Attorney and it's down to that sweet science that these players have mastered through dozens and dozens of repetitions.

The No-Look All-In.

It is actually down to The Atty. and Gilbert now, and they have not looked at their cards. Warren has been eliminated already after the first deal. after a series of no-look all-ins, atty is down to his last 360, which he placed in the pot before the cards were dealt. Gilbert, who took Atty. down in the first two no-looks with an amazing back to back two pair, happily calls the last hand of the night.

Flop comes 5-6-9 all clubs.

turn is a Queen of hearts. River is an Eight of clubs.

Gilbert first turns over one card, a 7 of hearts, which gives him a straight! Then he turns over his second card, a Queen of clubs, giving him the top pair AND the queen high flush!!!

A roar of amazed ooohhs and ahhhs reverberate across the empty room.

It's now Atty's turn to turn over his cards. He first turns over one card, jack of diamonds.
Then he turns over his next card.

A SEVEN OF CLUBS, giving him an amazing STRAIGHT FLUSH!!!

Everybody in the room erupts in a chorus of deafening screams of amazement! All nine of us!

wow. No-look straight flush beats no-look top pair/9 high straight/ queen high flush.

Only in the BBC...

Thursday, October 13, 2005 

As loose as it gets

i just had to write about this. no this is not a bad beat story.

i've been playing poker for some time now, and i've seen a lot of things happen already. Quads beaten by higher quads, my straight flush beating a full house, aces cracked countless times by rag hands, bad beats to last me a lifetime, and other crazy stuff.

but last night takes the cake. it did not only take the cake, it ATE the whole cake!

Ok, so the hand went like this. A player opens up the betting with a bet of 100 (5xBB), with one caller. the action goes to Barb, and she says "how much is that? 100? i raise you all-in" and she flips her cards over and shows two black aces, saying "call me." She's has almost everyone in the hand covered with her big stack, so the others are now scratching their heads and folding their cards... but not this other guy! Without hesitation and with confidence in his voice he says "ok, call!" and flips over his cards, A-J offsuit.

WHATTHEF&%CK!!! i couldnt stop laughing! now the move was not far from what this ultra loose, manic, wild, and eccentric player who looks at poker as a form of luck and chance game, but anyone with common sense would see the stupidity of making that call!

Barb got a bit scared for a moment since her aces were cracked twice just the night before, but i was pretty sure they would hold up this time. and they did. OF COURSE. the poker Gods are not THAT cruel. i even heard the guy talking to the guy beside him saying "who knows, i may have gotten two pair or something. you should have seen those aces cracked the other time!" dude, your two pair would have giver her trips. hehe.

haaayyy... only in the BBC. hehe.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 


Man, this is some funny shit! i couldn't stop laughing when i read this from another blog. i just have to post it. Sorry it's a long one, but it's worth it. If you havent watched rounders, it wont make sense either. hehe.


Michel (voiceover): "If you can't find the boorish
American hold'em player at the table within half an
hour, you are the boorish American hold'em player."
TITLE/CREDITS. This entire movie is in black and
white, with subtitles.
Michel (voiceover): "This game is really scummy, and
well above what I can afford to play. My entire
bankroll is riding on this one session going well.
This is Teddy CIA's place, where they only play Pot
Limit Omaha, the most sophisticated game in Europe."

- Michel knocks on the window -

Teddy CIA: "You want poker, or whore?"

Michel: "Poker. Give me three stacks of high, elitist


Michel: "I raise."

Teddy CIA: "It's a position raise. I call."

- The flop comes 5-7-A, with two diamonds -

Michel: "I bet the pot."

Teddy CIA: "I raise the pot."

Michel: "I reraise the pot."

Teddy CIA: "I reraise the pot."

Michel: "Pot."

Teddy CIA: "Pot."

Michel: "Pot."

Teddy CIA: "Pot."

Michel: "Pot."

Teddy CIA: "Pot."

Michel (voiceover): "I sit back and think. I have
three aces - the best possible hand. I want him to
think I'm debating a call, but really I'm just
thinking about Monte Carlo, and whatever the
[censored] is in Monte Carlo."

Michel: *shrugs* "Okay, well, I re-pot it, I'm all in,
because I don't think you have a pair." *winks at the

Teddy CIA: "Who are you winking at? It doesn't matter,
I call."

Michel (voiceover): "I know before he even says it."

Teddy CIA: "I have 8-6-4-3 with two diamonds, for a
wrap straight draw and a flush draw, which is a
favorite over your top set."

- Turn is a King. River is a 2 which gives Teddy CIA
an ace-to-five straight for the win. -

- Michel sits there, shell-shocked. -

Joey Croissant: "Come on, I'll get you a whore."
Michel (voiceover): "Well, that sucked. Since then,
I've sworn off of poker and made my living as a
roadside prostitute for boorish American tourists.
Hopefully, I can pay my way through law school that
way. I can always find games, though. I could turn
this truck onto the road and be at the Taj in 19 and a
half hours."
Michel (voiceover): "I'm here to pick my friend Worm
up from prison."

- Worm walks out of prison -

Michel: "Worm! It's wonderful to see you!"

- They kiss each other passionately on the mouth -

Michel: "How was prison?"

Worm: "I was brutally sodomized on a regular basis."


Michel: "Look...Croissant, I never told you this, but
about a year ago, I was playing poker at the Casino
des Atlantes, and Marcel Luske walks in. He sits down
at the 50/100 pot limit game. And, I mean, the whole
place stops, right? Just watching this guy play. After
a while there isn't a retarded European gambling game
going, because everybody's just, you know, watching
this guy."

- Joey Croissant nods -

Michel: "So you know what I did? I sat down."

Joey Croissant: "No way, you need at least 300,000
euros to sit down at a game like that. Such bad
financial management is typical of a boorish

- Joey Croissant and Michel laugh for twenty-six
minutes -

Michel: "Right, okay, but seriously, I played for an
hour, doing nothing but folding. Then I won a huge

Joey Croissant: "Aces? Kings? Ace-King doublesuited?
Suited aces? High connectors? Middle doublesuited
connectors? Two big pair?"

Michel: "Rags."

Joey Croissant: "That's probably fine too, you're only
like a 48/52 dog."

Michel: "I raised. And he came over the top of me,
like I was a boorish American. I re-popped it. He
potted it again. I think for like two seconds and then
I re-pot it."

Joey Croissant: "Jesus [censored] Christ, how much
money did you have?"

Michel: "After I bet I would quietly slide my chips
back toward my stack, nobody noticed. Anyway, he
thinks for a while, looks at me, checks his cards
again, and he mucks. I take it down. And then he looks
at me and says, 'I have to know. Did you have it?' And
I said, 'I'm sorry Marcel, I can't remember.'"

Joey Croissant: "Face!"

Michel: "I know, totally. Anyway, based on that one
hand, I felt confident gambling for all the money I
had, at one time."
Law Professor: "I am a Jew."

Michel: "I hate you."
Teddy CIA: "We play, heads up, Pot Limit Omaha, 25 and
50 blinds, until one of us has it all?"

Michel: "Out of sheer curiosity, you realize you're
giving up like boat loads of equity by agreeing to
gamble for money that's effectively yours anyway,
right? That you could just not let me play, and then
kill me and take what I have?"

Teddy CIA: "I know, but I am a boorish American!"

- Michel and Teddy CIA laugh for seventy-two minutes -
Michel (voiceover): "I pick up Ace-Ace-Jack-Ten

Michel: "I raise the pot."

Teddy CIA: "Very aggressive. But, I reraise the pot."

Michael (voiceover): "He's representing
Ace-Ace-King-King doublesuited, the only hand better
than mine. I can't call, and give him a chance to
catch. I can only fold...if I believe him."

Michel: "I reraise, I'm all in."

Teddy CIA: "Take it down."


- The flop reads 10-9-5, with two spades -

Michel: "Pot."

Teddy CIA: "Pot."

Michel: "Pot."

Teddy CIA: "Pot."

Michel: "Pot."

Teddy CIA: "Pot."

Michel: "Pot. I'm all in."

Teddy CIA: "Alright, I call. What do you have?"

Michel: "Jack high flush draw and middle set."

Teddy CIA: "Wrap, with a king high flush draw."

Michel: "Boy, I sure hope my 5:4 edge holds up,
otherwise I am going to die."

- Turn is an off-suit 5, giving Michel an unbeatable
hand. But the river is the ace of spades anyway,
because it's always the [censored] ace of spades. -

Teddy CIA: "He beat me. Pay that man his money. His
silly, silly-looking European money."
Cab Driver: "Where are you off to?"

Michel: "Monte Carlo."

Cab Driver: "Good luck."

Michel: "Shut the [censored] up."


It's a state of mind

What do you think? i know it's sort of a rip-off but hey, it looked great! hehe.


Dreams do come true

For every serious poker player here in the the country, the dream will soon become a reality.

In a matter of months, we have turned poker from a rag-tag string of small home games early this year, to a small community of regular players, to having one of the first major tournaments mid-year of about 40 players, almost doubling it every successive tournament thereafter, with the highlight being the 107 seater, 160K pot, Mango Poker Classic. The next one is gonna be even better.

We as a community has helped poker grow so fast that when just a few months ago, finding a regular game meant going around the metro from end to end, harldy filling up 10 or 15 seats, whereas now, you can play every single day for hours on end with great players from all over. The inevitable regular poker games hosted by some enterprising and visioned people who want the poker community to grow gave way to the existence of the State of Mind known as the BBC, places like the Riverhouse, and monthly and weekly poker tournaments that can fill up to 40 seats in a moments' notice.

And now, by next year, WPT will be coming to the Philippines. yes, that little poker TV show that we were all watching and where most of us got introduced to "the cadillac of poker", will be hosting a regional tour in our very own lupang hinirang. To those who love The Game, this is a dream come true. i myself get goosebumps thinking about it.

Just think, Poker Pros from all over will be coming here to play with US. Think of the valuable experience we will gain as players if we get a chance to play with Poker Gods like Gus Hansen or Phil hellmuth or Howard Lederer.

just think, your'e playing Phil Ivey or Paul Phillips in a hand, and you manage to bluff him out of a pot. Just like Matt Damon in the movie "Rounders" making a play on Johnny Chan and winning the hand.

The local poker scene has grown exponentially since the first major tourney around mid-year 2005. As we approach the end of the year, we will grow a lot bigger. We all need each other to fine tune our skills and get valuable inputs so that most players will have a solid game before the Pros invade our soil. i do hope our growth will not encounter any snags, especially with the government and also with closed minded religious groups and activists who still see poker in the same league as lotteries or slot machines.

WPT philippines will kick ass. Let's show them, like we do now in boxing and billiards, that we can be the best in the world.

Philippines Represent!

Saturday, October 08, 2005 

Strange deja vu

There's one thing worse than being 2nd place all the time.

That's being 3RD PLACE all the time!

It's deja vu i tell you... Final three down to me, mischa, and another guy. It's the Mango classic all over again. Mischa and I got about even stacks and i end up going all in right before being blinded out, figuring my K-7 off is decent enough. So i ran into pocket kings. 3rd place again.

i know i shouldnt complain, it was an awesome game, especially the final table action. Man that table was tiiiiight. Mischa folding K-Q pre-flop and stuff like that. What a game.

but hey, last tourney i played (in JGPT) i placed 3rd too. i'm starting to see a pattern here... damn. i was on a mission last night, i really wanted to win the BBC5oo. It would have been my buy-in to the big one, the Rooftop Invitational with the HUGE pot up for grabs.

My mission is to make the buy-in by playing the ring game and BBC500, and so far i'm halfway there. 2 more weeks.

to be honest, i wouldnt mind making 3rd place in THAT tournament. hehe.

watch your backs!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005 

The Lord of the Ring games: The return of the king-ace offsuit

i always, always hear warning bells and buzzers in my head when i see A-Ko in my hole cards.

my AKo that flopped trip kings but gave nickG a full house is still a fresh memory. hehe.

i know nobody likes hearing bad beat stories but what the heck, i need to get this out of my system!

I'm playing a 9 player table, 50/100 game that's giving me good odds of doubling of maybe tripling up in a few hours if the poker math will just hold up for me. i'm in for about 3K in chips, some are in for 3.5k, 5K, some 10k. In a field like this, i just have to pick my spots and not worry abou the blinds eating up my stack. i'm feeling pretty good at this point, especially when i saw one guy who's known to be SUPER loose and will call your bet with an ace high on the river.

After about 30mins into the game, i've only played 2 hands, pocket 5's and A-Qo, both which did not hit the board. My stack is about 2K at this point, but i'm still relaxed.

then i see A-K offsuit. i thought i heard a fire truck or ambulance passing by from a distance...

about 4 people call the straddle making the pot juicy enough to just call and hope to hit the flop. Guy to my left then raises 1000. damn. AND THEN, mischa calls it and says "you won't believe what i'm calling this with!" and then two more players call! i contemplate going all in with my 1800, but i just call it anyway. the pot is now more than 6000 or something.

the flop comes A-3-5. luis, who raised 1000 pre flop, checks. Mischa bets 1000 in an instant. the other guys fold to me, and of course i put my last 800 all-in. Luis folds his pocket 9's in disgust, and Mischa shows a 3-6! he hit bottom pair, and i have top pair with my AK! i'm thinking "this is my money hand! i just need the math to hold up (i'm about a 70% or so favorite to win it at this point). the pot is about 8000 now!

Turn is a 4... (posted this wrong last night hehe. thanks to ricky for pointing it out. i would have seen that two pair!)

River: a goddamn SIX. Mischa gets two pair on the river!

i dont really mind losing to that guy, an awesome player (maybe one of the best on our shores right now). i probably got my karma for cracking his pocket aces pre-flop with queens one time hehe.

He told me later that in Poker, as in Life, there are no absolutes. Even if you do everything right, there will be times when things will still not work in your favor. just be consistent and you will win more times than you will lose. and i couldnt agree more.

i'm posting this funny article from about AK. it's a funny one!


Psychologists often refer to the 7 stages of grief that accompany any significant loss in an individual's life. We certainly think AK qualifies, and know the stages all too well:

1) Denial: "There's no way I could've missed the flop. They were suited. I can call here, I probably still have the best hand. Shoot, I should raise to narrow the field"

2) Anger: "I raised preflop. The board is 239. What the fuck are they calling on? Oh, now they're re-raising me? Well, we'll fucking see about that. Fine, your 23o hit? Congrat-u-fucking-lations. Cap!"

3) Guilt: "Man, I missed the turn and they're still betting into me. I am such a terrible player. I should really let go of this hand. Let go if it, dumbass. Let go. See, this is why you never make money at poker because you can't lay a hand down you stupid fuck JUST FOLD."

4) Depression: "Call"

5) Forgiveness: "It's ok, you have to look that guy up every once in a while with A high. He might've been on AQ or AJ, and you would've had the best hand then. It's good for your table image anyhow. People won't mess with you now.

6) Acceptance: "Ok, next time I'll just limp and see a flop."

7) Recovery: "Hey, AKs, alright - RAISE!"

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Quote of the Day

  • The best poker I've ever played has always entailed peace. A relaxed comfort. Eyes open, ears open, radar up. Absorbing my opponent's every message. Taking them as they come. Not mixing what those messages are with what I want them to be. It's like an aerial view. A view from above the myriad luck-dependent reactions of those many people who never gain such a peace. And when you gain that view, that peace - when you'd rather have the truth, no matter how disappointing, over a false hope, no matter how desirable - then you're a player. The hand you're on slips into a stream of thousands of other hands, no one of which, because of your lofty view, seems unduly important, no false fearful emotions rise within you. When you gain the peace of lofty perspective, you're a player, and when you're a player, you're free.- from "King of a Small World" by Rick Benett
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