That State of Mind TM
+ Life. Poker. It's a State of Mind.
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Saturday, July 29, 2006 

Only Losers Blame the Cards

Had a good start to my day when i joined this freeroll on Bugsys Club, a great poker site for anyone tired of the insane crapshoots in the big sites. 947 players joined and they were giving away something like $130 for the top 40 places, and i've joined it a couple of times before with no success. This time i went real deep and placed 31st, won something like $0.50 (LOL) but generally had a great game and had fun. I like the fact that you start with 10,000 chips and 25-50 blinds, so lots of room to play. Busted out when i had 8-8 and raised it, and got one caller. It was 10K-20K at this level, and i had about 180K left. When the flop came 7-high, i pushed all in, got called, and he showed Kings. Good game!

The previous night it was my cousin's birthday an of course there was poker too! It was sort of the highlight of the night hehe. At 10-20 blinds, we played for about 5 hours and i ended up winning about 3,200! Always fun to play with the family, and so far i've never lost in our family games hehe. There, i had a freeroll into the 20-40 game at Pert's house friday!

Well, i'm actually writing this from perty's house, and of course that only means one thing. Busted! Had A-A, re-raised a raiser, got two callers, and i went all in on the flop of K-9-10. the first guy folded, and then the last person called with J-10, bottom pair, gutshot. (must... call... the draw...) true enough, the Q came on the turn. ouch. Left with about 500+, i pushed with 8-8 after a small raise from the same person who called my all-in. She then said, "i have to call", calling about 500 more, with 9-10 offsuit. Turn, 10. "i knew it would come out." she said after the hand. Lesson learned: Dont play against a psychic. After that, here i am, writing this. Hehe.

This time, i dont really feel that bad first of all since i was basically freerolling, and second, i have adopted a new poker mantra. I swear, after hearing this poker quote, it profoundly affected the way i see the game.

"Only losers blame the cards."

I realized how true that was and told myself that i will never blame bad cards or bad luck if i ever lose. The cards just fall as they fall. It was already pre-determined after the dealer shuffled the deck, so why make it an excuse right?

Only losers blame the cards.

Watch your back!

Friday, July 28, 2006 

Poker for a Cause

LEt's all chip-in and help a good cause using our favorite game. Not only does it help others, but it helps promote the game of poker in a positive light.


Calling all Poker players and Friends, be All in for Benjo this August 12!

Event: All in for Benjo, A Benefit Texas Hold-'Em Poker Tournament
Venue: Airport Casino Filipino, Paranaque
Reg: 12:00 nn
1st Deal: 1:30 pm
Buy In: Php 2,000

Get the chance to win one of these prizes:
- your very own customized poker table from Kustom Kowboys worth
- an overnight stay at Seawind Boracay
- 20K item from Technomarine
and many more!

About us:
We are a voluntary independent group supporting a series of events
raising funds for our friend Benjo Marquez, who is only 25 and was
recently diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer of the
lymph nodes).

Benjo and his family are in great need of financial support. Benjo has
made DJing a career and depends greatly on the income he receives from
it, as their family has not been as financially stable since their
father passed away. Needless to say, they need all
the help they can get, especially since he has started chemotherapy
sessions. He will need extensive medical attention.

For tickets and reservations:

Celine : 0918-907-2156
Rose : 0918-934-4655
Sookie : 0917-529-8837
Tricia : 0917-534-6059
Kai : 0917-555-55

Thursday, July 27, 2006 

Pokerstars Results

I just finished playing the Moneymaker Tournament on Pokerstars. Although i thought i played pretty good, i also was reminded of how sick this game can be. We started out with 10,000(!) players, typical for a pokerstars tournament. After winning and losing several hands, i found myself with about an average stack about an hour into the game. I had a big hand against A-8 when i had K-8 and we hit top pair on the flop. Lost a chunk of my stack and after that, tried to play really tight and wait for a good hand.

A few hours and 5,000+ bust outs later, i find myself short stacked and ready to push. One incident i remember was wehn everyone limped and i felt like going all in on the button with 9c-7c, but decided to fold. Flop came 9-9-7! Argh. missed my chance to quadruple up there! Next hand was A-Q off, so i decided to push after nobody raised. I got one caller with A-9 clubs, a dream situation for me. I had him covered but i would be left with 2xBB if i lose.

Flop came rags with 2 clubs! turn, rag. River... club. After that, pushed with JT and had a billion callers and lost to a suited quads LOL! Nice hand, nice game. Always happens to me, no surprise anymore hehe. Coulda been sweet to qualify fo the next round, but i guess 10,000 players is just too much of a crapshoot to even dream of making it ITM. It's amazing how the WSOP main event winners get through those thousands of other players with their sanity intact. It must be a totally stressful experience. oh well, had a good game.

So, if you have a Stars account, give it a shot. Theyre running it almost everyday, and if you have Pokerstars FPP, you can join for 10 FPP if you lose your first try. till next time!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 

Pokerstars Moneymaker Millionaire Tournament

Just in case you didnt notice, i changed my URL to Just thought it would be more convenient and appropiate. To the guys who have me linked to their sites, i dont know how it will affect the links but i guess it will be fine.

I've always wanted to replace it coz there is a bbcmanila site (from the bbcmanila events group) and i didnt want to create any problems with them in the future. I didnt know i could change the URL until today though, hehe.


I will be joining the biggest free tournament ever, the Moneymaker Millionaire Tournament at Pokerstars, and i encourage everyone with a pokerstars account to give it a shot. Even if you dont have a money account, it's a FREE ENTRY tournament. If by some miracle you survive until the final round, you get a shot at the $2.5 MILLION prize pool and a wicked Aston Martin DB9 Volante! Check out the link i provided to get more information about this event, which is the biggest freeroll tournament ever.

Good luck to everyone who decides to join!

Monday, July 24, 2006 

A Nice Rush; Apologies

I had a nice little friendly game with some old poker friends at Jard's place last night. We had a small sit n go which i busted out on, but we decided to play a 5-10 ring game in which i won almost 3,000. I was on a sweet rush and had people going all-in on me when i was holding the nuts! Afterwards, i got a text about the 1K sattelite for the big WSOP style tourny, so i decided to ride my rush and give it a shot. We started with 33 players, and my rush DID continue! I had almost 13,000 by the end of the FIRST level on 5K starting stacks! I was getting KK, QQ, AQ, etc all in succession. Then, it happened. First, i had KK and raised it, and someone went all in for a little bit more with AJ. Ok, im thinking im in good shape here, but the guy got a running straight in the turn and river, needing ANOTHER King to make it! My QQ vs, JJ getting just a split pot when the board made a straight. I got AQ, KJ, KQ, ATs, raised them, bet them, called raises, but got NOTHING out of it. The rush HAD to end sometime huh? Eventually, i had about 6,000 on the 800-1600 level, and had to go all-in on AK, which the chip leader called with JJ which he limped in. Oh well, it was a good game!

After busting out, i thought i could pass some time playing the ring game, so i bought in. Just wanted to see some cards, made some small talk with sunshine who i was sitting beside with. Nope, the rush wasnt coming back antime soon. I lost all my chips after raising with QJ, hitting the J on the flop, betting, getting raised all in, which i called. The guy had AJ and a nut flush draw, so i didnt even have to see the turn a river to know that the Q wont come out. Ended up breaking even for the night, losing what i won at jards. It was all good, had a great time. It's nice to feel that rush once in a while.

But there was one particular hand where i acted like a complete idiot and managed to upset a good friend of mine, Sunshine. She was on my immediate left and straddled the blinds, so i was making drama as to why she had to do it on my BB. After about 4 or 5 callers, i decided to just call with a decent hand (A-9 or A-T something like that), but she went all-in! I have to admit i was still tilting from the previous hand where i had AKs and hit the Ace on the flop, all-in, but lost to pocket fours that made a flush. I really, really wanted to see her hand coz of this. Someone called her all-in so i asked to see the hands, which she didnt wanna show. I dont know what i was thinking, but i insisted that i had the right to see it, since someone called it already. I kept insisting to show the hand but realized i was being a prick and so asked her if she can just tell it to me later, but it was too late and the dealer showed it, a steal attempt. I really didnt mean to do it on purpose but at that time, i wasnt thinking straight. No excuses, i apologized to her afterward but i could see she was upset. I'm really apologizing not for what i did, but because of HOW i did it. If you get to read this, sorry about that. My sincerest apologies. Hope it's all good.


Anyway, I'm hoping to get some of that luck again tomorrow in my regular monday tourny. I need to book another win soon, gotta fatten that emaciated bankroll hehe.

Watch your backs!

Sunday, July 23, 2006 

The 3rd Monthly ACF5000

The ACF5000 had it's third tournament yesterday, and what a great tournament it was. Fifty players came to play in search of that coveted ACF5K silver bracelet and a chance to win a sweet pot which came up to 250,000. As usual, the regulars were there to play, but there were also a lot of new faces. Although we would have wanted to seat more players fo a bigger pot, the 5 table tournament set up a good field and a decent sized pot, which is actually more favorable to the players.

First deal came, and instantly there was big action. The Atty. Pokemon, winner of last week's Charity Poker event, busted out on his first hand within the first 4 minutes, getting KK run up against AK, which hit the Ace. Like nick said, that guy's a man of extremes! It's either he goes deep, or busts out quickly. After he busted out, nobody busted out in the next 30-45 minutes or so! Just a sign of the great poker action to come. Midway through the game, D.Ice cream neil ran into Quad fours after he hit top pair and was betting into an old guy who developed a huge stack calling every hand and raise and hitting monser hands. Another veteran of the poker scene Jun Uy played only 2 hands, KK and JJ, getting cracked both times and busting out in the process. When it was down to 11 players, the field was down to several familiar faces in the poker community. Big Wally, Barb, Sunshine, Atty.Eric, Skippy, were all there. Barb had the smallest stack in the field and at the 1000-2000 level, she went all in for 4,000 and managed to double up! After that, she managed to double up again a few hands before Sunshine busted out to the Chip leader Richard who called her small all-in and hit something. Good game Shine!

Coming into the final table, we had Richard, a new guy, with the chip lead, about 110,000. Second was Big Wally, who had 106,000. The rest were somewhere between 20-80K stacks. Barb played awesome in the final table, and managed to go up to 50K from the 4K stack she had just a few levels before. Atty.Eric busts out in 6th (or was it 5th?) after he went all in when the chip leader just limped in, and was called anyway. His KhQh didnt catch anything against the AT-off, so he took home P12,500. Barb was next to go, going all-in with AK suited and getting called by both chip, leaders and after seeing the whole board unfold rag-rag-rag-rag-King (yahoo!), Big W. shows his AA on the river!(awwww!). Good game for barb who won P25,000! Skippy followed a few hands after when the blinds finally took its toll, and the 2 chip leaders Richard and Wally having about 95% of the chips between them, called his all-in and busted him out. Awesome game for skippy, who used a BBC chip as his card weight and winning a sweet P45,000! One for the BBC skip!

Heads up was a showcase of skill and experience over luck. Big W., a seasoned poker veteran, put up a clinic for the chip leader, who was playing the ACF5K for the first time. He proceeded to dismantle and pick apart his opponent slowly but surely. It was no one-punch KO, but round after round of jabs and footwork, wearing his opponent down and frustrating him the whole time. Richerd never knew what hit him. They started with about 270K vs. 230K chips, and after about an hour, Richard was surprised to find himself with only 30K left, and Big W. having about 95% of the chips. No huge hands, no All-ins, just steady betting and raising. Not once did wally have to go all-in during their heads up match. Richard was eventually forced to go all-in on the BB, and busted out, taking home 72,500 (Big W. Agreed to a chop early on although he had a slight chip lead). Awesome game from Wally, and it shows how skill DOES matter especially in key situations like heads up matches. He won P72,500 (supposed to be 85,000, but they chopped), the ACF5K bracelet, a wicked pair of Ray Ban Aviators, and bragging rights as the new ACF5000 Champ!

I was totally exhausted after a whole day of standing and talking and walking around. Passed by the slots on the way out and couldnt resist nick's slot machine success stories, so i gave it a try and won a grand! Wohoo! LOL!

Can't wait for the next one!

Thursday, July 20, 2006 

The Beauty of the Home Game

The last three days have been quite slow for me, partly because Kath has been in Turkey since monday. I wanted to watch a movie since kath and i always watch on wednesdays, but realized that it would suck to watch alone, so i opted fo some sidewalk DVD's instead hehe. Just bought a mountain bike yesterday, and took it out for a test ride by riding from my house to nick's, which is about 6 or 7 kilometers away. Damn i thought it was closer than that! It took me 20 minutes to get there, and my legs were burning! But it's a good start for my weight loss odessey hehe. With poker, I've been playing quite a lot but only the small home games and the Monday tournaments, and although i've been winning lately, the most would be 1K or 2K a night since the stakes are so small. Had a good time at a friends place last night, winning a SNG after taking a huge bad beat when my Aces got cracked pre-flop by a QT making a straight,(big stack vs big stack) had about 360 left in the 100-200 level and managed to claw my way back and win first place!

But what's good about this is, I've rediscovered one of the first reasons why i play poker anyway; to enjoy and have a good time. I've almost forgotten how poker is such a social game that we can play for 6 to 7 hours straight and have great conversations and discussions about everything under the sun. It's funny watching bad beats and everyone just laughs out loud about it since nobody is playing for serious amounts of money anyway! And, you get to meet a lot of new people too.

When you start to really get serious about poker, it can get TOO serious sometimes. A big losing night can really get you upset, and i've even seen some people come to a point that they want to punch someone in the face just because of how they acted at the felt. I've heard harsh words exchanged between friends just because of poker. Some people have even disappeared from the scene because they lost huge sums of money and have started accumulating debt because of it. Sad but true.

If you find yourself playing poker too much and too seriously, take a break from your usual games and find a small home game that you and your friends can play in or better yet, set up your own game at home and get the booze and food flowing. Make sure the stakes are lower than what you are used to, and don't forget to invite new players and introduce them to the game. I guarantee an awesome good time!

I'm also planning on starting online ooker for real money soon, just looking for an easy way to make my deposit and get started. Fish is doing pretty well and i'm getting envious so i can't wait to start!

Till next time.

Monday, July 17, 2006 

Deal a Helping Hand

Yesterday was a great day for the poker community as we showed that we are not all just about money and winning. Marco and his PBT crew helped raise about P300,000 for the NOVA Foundation for the Differently-abled through the first Deal-a-Helping-Hand Charity poker tournament. This just shows that Poker can be used as a productive tool in our society when put in the hands of competent people whose main motivation is not to make a pretty profit, but for their love of the game and the desire to promote poker.

We had about 8 tables yesterday, and the first six rounds were pretty fun. There was just the right mix of celebrities and regular poker players to make it very interesting. With unlimited rebuys, there were a LOT of crazy plays! Kit, a regular in the poker rooms all over the metro, even won a prize for MOST rebuys (4D/3N stay at a resort in boracay!) since it would have meant that he was the one who donated the most to the foundation. And true enough, good karma ame his way and he ended up winning 2nd place overall, taking home a 32-inch Flat TV!

As for my game, played for about two hours till the blinds just caught up with me. Thought i'd double up early when my AK suited hit and A on the flop and i pushed all-in, and it turned out that my caller woud split the pot with AK off. Had KK twice, doubled up my small stack on one and stole the blinds with the other. Eventually pushed with A-Q off after several limpers came in, got called by a big stack with K-10, hit her K on the turn. But i never had to rebuy so it was a pretty good game for me. If there were no rebuys i probly would have gotten deeper too, but hey, it's for charity and it was fun!

Congratulations to our regular poker buddies who made it ITM (Top Ten), namely, Neil A. who got 8th place and won an Apple IPOD 20G (and later swapped it with 7th place for a 29 inch TV), Atty. Eric S. another great player and high stakes veteran who bagged 6th place and won a Canon Digicam. Too bad for Jun Uy who got busted 11th on the bubble when his chips were just enough to cover the ante and ouldnt get any playable hand at all. The eventual winner who won the 32-inch LCD TV is a character we all know as Pokemon (Surprise surprise!) who surprised a lot of players who know him by playing a solid game. Everyone who made it there played really well and they really deserve those prizes.

I hope there will be more events like this, and hopefully more players will join and support this cause, since it will really help the growth of our local poker scene, give the game credibility, and make people aware of how poker is not just gambling and making money. Till the next one, see you at the felt!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 

Back From The Dead

No , I didn't go anywhere. It's just that my home internet connection is back! It's such a hassle going to internet cafes just to update this blog or check my email, so after two weeks i finally get to post something again. It took more than two weeks for the PLDT DSL guys to finally tell us that they CAN'T install in our area, duh. So we got this other Smart WIFI service which turns out to be powered by PLDT DSL! Weird.

So what has been happening these past few weeks? Poker-wise, i have not been able to play as many tournaments as i wanted to, but i've been having some success at playing small-stakes home ring games. The funny thing about no-limit hold'em is, even though some of the blinds we play go as low as 3-6, i still win the same amount of money as i would in a 20-40 game! BUT, it somehow feels much more satisfying hehehe. The biggest i've lost in one night is about 3 buy-ins which is 900, but i've won 2,000+ twice in a week in the same game! If we convert that to the regular 20-40, i would have lost 6,000 or something. The wins in the 20-40 on a grinding night is usually somwhere in the 2k-4k range, on a good night maybe 8k-10k. So in proportion to what you can win and what you can lose, the small home games are actually a better bet. AND what's more, these "fun" home games have free booze and food to boot! So if you havent been seeing a lot of me in the regular games, i'm probably in one of my home game invasion missions hehe.

Another thing that has kept me busy the last two weeks was the supposed departure of Kath who got a job to work in Turkey for the european summer. Instead of the usual poker nights, we decided to spend more time together since she will be gone fo about 3 months. After saying her goodbyes and mentally and physically preparing for the long trip, july the 5th came and it was time for her to leave. After bringing her to the airport and a tearful goodbye, i went home. A few hours later i called to wish her a safe trip, and it turns out they were not able to leave at all! To cut the long story short, one of their companions had questionable papers (which turned out to be incomplete) and they were detained at the airport, missing their flight. Kath could have just gone ahead and gotten on the plane since she was traveling on her German passport which meant she didnt need a visa or anything, but she stayed since her friend who owned the place she was going to work in was forced to stay. It turned out to be a mistake because the Airport guys saw this as an opportunity to make some money ( Kath's friend was an American citizen, which to translates to $$$) and held their passports after letting them go, saying "just come back after three days and everything is going to be ok, it's just standard procedure to verify your papers" etc etc. Well, they COULD get their passports, but for a goddamn price, and an insane one at that. So, Kath's trip was postponed until they could get the passports back. Hopefully, she will be traveling already by the end of this week. These are the times when it sucks to live in a third world country where corruptiona dn extortion is a fact of life. Those greedy SOB's are the reasons why our country will never really improve, and this is a sad truth. Our system sucks. Check out her story at German Snake's blog.

Next topic, i was really looking forward to the NOVA foundation charity poker tournament to be run Marco A.'s group which is this saturday at the ACF! Not only will it be for a good cause, but the prizes are great too! Sadly, i will be out of town with the family so i wont be able to play. Check out their site at for more details.

There, these are the things i've been up to the past two weeks i was gone. Expect more articles from me now that i have an internet connection at home again!

See you at the felt.

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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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