Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

It's been a little while since my last update and that's due to a lack of interesting stories for me to tell. Never fear, I am always looking for a new story to tell.

For now, I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Everyone is in my thoughts and I hope all is well!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Calamity of Errors

It’s been a busy week.

I had a friend visiting from out of town and we spent a few days down at the Elbow playing $15/30. I know I talked about this in my last entry but it’s amazing how bad these guys play. Really dumb founding. My friend didn’t have very good luck though, which sucks since he’s been running badly for almost a year.

So, we’re playing late Wednesday night and I’m getting pretty sleepy. I’m in the number two seat and my friend is in the number four seat. Since I’m tired I’m only paying half attention to the game so I muck and see my friend 3-bet this lady who’s between us and playing like a maniac (although she plays decent post flop in a weird way). My friend is the cut off (button – 1) and after the button calls 3 cold (big donkey), the small blind calls 3 cold (drunken donkey) as well. Because he’s drunk the small blind has a few problems getting his chips out. He’s also sitting in the number six seat, which is directly opposite the dealer. The dealer kind of helps him get his chips straightened out then finishes directing action around the table. This is getting to be a big pot.

The action finishes and the dealer collects the chips and brings them into the middle of the table. Then he looks through his 1-inch thick spectacles with a dumbfounded look and says to the small blind, “You don’t have any cards.”

Surprised, the small blind looks down and sure enough his cards have vanished. “Umm…. What the fuck?”

“The dealer scooped them up when he pulled your chips in,” I say, knowing full well that I just opened up a can of worms.

“No, I did not!” the stupid dealer says incredulously.

“Yes, you did,” I reply matter of factly. This silly banter goes on for a little while with my poor friend trying to play his hand saying, “It doesn’t matter, the hand is dead, let’s get going!”

Of course, my friend is right. The SB’s cards have touched the muck (the discards) and is dead. This is a universal rule in any and all card rooms. In this case, not only has the hand touched the muck, but it is buried in their and is irretrievable. In all cases like these the pit boss is called over to make a ruling, and there is only one ruling that he can make, the hand is dead. Instead, he asks the players in the hand if the SB can have his money back out of the pot. Huh? WTF? Sigh…here we go. Those were probably my exact thoughts when this happened.

So, two players agree and the pit boss asks my friend to which he responds, “Just make your ruling, whatever you decide.”

“Ok, then, the money stays in the pot. This guy doesn’t want to give it back.”

“What? Buddy, don’t make me out to be the bad guy. Take responsibility and do your job – make the ruling.”

Taken aback a little the sheepish young pit boss tries futilely to console my friend who wants none of it. The hand plays out, and I forget the result of it but the pit boss continues to try and make amends with my friend but he isn’t really the forgiving type when he’s been wronged and it doesn’t work out. The pit boss kind of skulks away, a little ashamed of himself.

Trouble has a way of finding my friend and this night was going to be no different. After the above incident happens my friend is involved in another pot and is simply calling a bet, but after having a bad day he is frustrated and in this specific hand he decides to call by dropping one chip at a time on the table. Click, click, click, click, click the chips hit the table and when it’s done the dealer looks over and says, “Don’t do that.”

“I can’t call like that?”



“Yes, really.”


A few hours later, my friend has quit the game and I’m finishing up my hands when they bring the late night food out. I rack up and cash out and get in line to get my food. It’s put on the counter in this little horseshoe shaped kitchen. My friend gets a plate and the first food in the line is the cookies. The line is pretty slow moving so when my friend gets a cookie he begins to eat it, because it’s like 4am and he’s hungry and the line is slow. Tap, tap, tap. My friend turns around and the security guard says to him, “You can’t eat that here.”

“Pardon me?”

“You can’t eat that here.”

Chomp, chomp, chomp.

We have a little laugh, eat our food and then I get him another cookie as we leave for the evening. BTW, +$350 for the evening. So far, playing live, I’ve booked 14.5 hours and have won $1313 including the $100 I donked off in the prop bet. Not bad for 3 days work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Easy come, easy go.

I've got a friend visiting at the moment who's also a poker player and he came down from Edmonton to play some live poker. Calgary has awesome live poker, it really does. I always knew I would need to mix in live play with my online play to maintain sanity, but I guess I had forgot just how good the live games really are. There is nothing comparable online except possibly at the lowest levels. I think it would be fair to equate the $15/30 live casino game to $1/2 online.

Needless to say I feel good about my chances to beat the live games.

So Monday night I decided to go downtown and play by myself so I phone and get my name on the list, "How many names on the list at the moment?" "We have seats open." "Be there in 30." I get down there at about 10pm and they have a few seats open in two different $15/30 games and it's a must move situation. A must move situation is where they have one "main" game and they try to keep it filled, or mostly filled, so they force players to move from the secondary games (if there is more than two) to fill it. I started off in the feeder game playing 7 handed.

The game was really juicy until about 11:30 when about 3 decent players sat down. Instantly they all put their names on the transfer list to the main game and within 30 minutes they were all gone and we were playing six handed. YAY! You see, live players don't play shorthanded much. Most of them despise it and will do anything they can to avoid it. I, on the other hand, love short handed. It's my bread and butter. Therefore, anytime a live game gets short I have a HUGE advantage since most people don't know how to play.

We eventually drop to four handed and I didn't necessarily run over the table as my hands were very simple (really good, or really bad) but I did very well. Final tally +$958 for 3 hours play. Highlights were when I made a thin value bet with QQ on a K9xxK board and at showdown my opponent, who called my bet, says "I thought you'd be stronger than that" and mucks his hand. Another hand was where I called a bet on the river with King high after checking behind on the turn and my opponent sheepishly announces, "Queen high". "King high," I say and roll my hand over. The blank dumb look on his face was priceless.

Tuesday night, last night I suppose, I played again for 6 hours and finished +$5. Yup, $5. Funniest part of the night happened in a prop bet. The game had been playing fairly tight for a live game and people were commenting on the lack of action. A nice chinese guy two the left of me, whom I had played a pot with about an hour earlier says "No one here wants to gamble" as he put his name on the transfer list. "I'll gamble with you," I replied. What I meant was that as soon as I got any semblance of a reasonable hand I'd like to get involved in some pots with him. I was a bit surprised by his response.

"Ok, $100 on red or black flop - you pick."

"Does it have to be two or three?"


"I'll take red," and I put my $100 out there.

The table is pretty interested in this little bet and we get our hands and we both fold and he says, "I had two blacks - I like your chances".

"I had one of each."

"Yah, I like your chances," he says.

The flop comes out. Black, Black, Black. FUCK!

I have never made a bet like that before and my friend was extremely surprised by it, as I myself was afterwards. I essentially flipped a coin for $100.

So, I guess I really won $105 playing poker and lost $100 on a flip, but oh well.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

First Time for Everything

I guess I should have checked?

Hand P4-55233959-1091, Started at 12/4/2007 3:50 PM (MST)
Table 'Baku': $15-$15 Fix Limit HE (Real)
Seat 0: KOalltables ($1,289 in chips) (on the button)
Seat 2: sukkmugg ($680.45 in chips)
Seat 3: honaymouse ($189.70 in chips)
Seat 4: BuckdaCanuck ($1,296 in chips)
Seat 8: Riverblaster ($3,783 in chips)
*** Blind Bet Round *** :
sukkmugg : Post Blind ($7.50)
honaymouse : Post Blind ($15)
Dealt to BuckdaCanuck: Jh
Dealt to BuckdaCanuck: Qh
*** Pre-Flop *** :
BuckdaCanuck : Bet ($30)
Riverblaster : Fold
KOalltables : Fold
sukkmugg : Call ($22.50)
honaymouse : Fold
*** Flop *** : Ah Kh 10h
sukkmugg : Check
BuckdaCanuck : Bet ($15)
sukkmugg : Fold
*** SUMMARY ***
Pot: $87 | Rake: $3
Board: [ Ah Kh 10h ]
KOalltables lost $0
sukkmugg lost $30
honaymouse lost $15
BuckdaCanuck bet $45, collected $87, net $42
Riverblaster lost $0

Monday, December 3, 2007

Worst Day Ever

Today has a dubious honor. I lost more today than I've ever lost before.


Professional Poker is fun.

Heritage Funds

In 1976 Alberta created the Heritage Fund so that future generations of Albertans will get a share of our non-renewable resources. This makes a lot of sense since the people of Alberta own these resources, not the companies that are exploiting them. So how much is in our fund? 15.4 Billion, which I know sounds like a lot, but let's compare that to some other funds around the world.

  • Alberta - established in 1976 has $15.4 Billion
  • Alaska - established in 1976 has $37 Billion (and I thought we were the socialists)
  • Kazakhstan - not sure when established but has $24 Billion
  • Norway - established 1996 has $306 Billion
I'm not going to go into the reasons for this but essentially our government is in love with the oil companies. What I would like to discuss is why Norway's fund is so large since it's 20 years younger than our fund that is pretty surprising (think about the compound interest on our fund that 20 years should have given us).

  1. Norway has much large royalty fees than Alberta.
  2. Norway ensures that a state owned company owns at least 50% of North Sea oil production.
Once upon a time Albertan's had our own state owned oil company, Alberta Energy Corporation, better known as AEC. Of course, Klein sold that to Encana as part of his privatization campaign.

"Furthermore, Norway invests all of its oil and gas revenues in foreign companies and assets so as not to create an inflationary spiral in Norway that would quickly eat up it's oil revenues and drag down the section of it's economy that is non-resource based." - William Marsden, Stupid to the Last Drop.

All of the above numbers are also from Stupid to the Last Drop by William Marsden.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is Online Poker Rigged? No - but it certainly is fucked

Long story, short. I got screwed and I'm a donkey. Here's the long story.

I spend most of my time at smaller sites. I like them. The players are fishy and I get good rakeback from them. But, these sites are generally newer as well and like any piece of software they have bugs in them. I've never had much problem with the bugs but I know they exist and they have affected other people at various sites. Today was different.

Today I'm in a good six-handed $10/$20 game, my bread and butter, and a few players drop out and it's down to 3-handed. I love 3-handed. I do very well at it. Today I'm against two big donkeys and one of them has a vendetta against me because I sucked out on him in a huge pot earlier in the session (more on this later). This goes on for a while and I'm really beating these guys up. Finally my buddy leaves and it's head's up - which I don't like. I don't like it because I haven't played much of it, but more importantly I don't like it because it takes a lot of concentration and that means I can no longer focus on my other tables (I usually play 3 tables). So most times when a table breaks up I sit out right away, but today I decided to play because this guy was bad and I thought there was a good chance that this table would fill up again soon.

Everything is normal for the first twenty hands, except that I'm getting killed by this donkey, but then I notice that the button isn't moving. It's always on him. That's odd. The SB (small blind) and BB (big blind) are moving back and forth as they should but the button isn't. Since the blinds are moving as they should I figure everything is OK. But wait!

Hand #1331012045001383: San Marino (Turbo, 6-max) 12045
Seat 4: CasaConcha (1310.00 in chips)
Seat 5: Tylerpayto (293.00 in chips)
Seat 10: JLOMEXICO21 (600.00 in chips)
CasaConcha: posts small blind $5
Tylerpayto: posts big blind $10
Dealt to CasaConcha [ Qc Jd ]
CasaConcha: raises to $20
Tylerpayto: calls
*** FLOP *** [ Kh 3d 8h ]
CasaConcha: bets $10
Tylerpayto: calls

To those of you who are not poker players let me explain this to you. In the above hand I am CasaConcha and I am the SB and that means I should have the button. To make head's up play a little fair the button is the SB and that means he acts first pre-flop but acts last on every other betting round. It's designed to even things up a little bit because it's very powerful to have position (the button) over your opponent. In the above hand I am SB and act first pre-flop as I should but then we see the flop and I'm first again!

That is so fucked up I don't even know how to explain it. Let me put it this way - there is not one person on this planet that I couldn't beat head's up if I had the button every hand. No one! Also, anybody who is semi-reasonable at poker could beat me if they had the button every hand. It really is that powerful. Needless to say I shut down all of my poker sites immediately and searched through the hand histories to see exactly how long this had been happening as I had been playing three sites and it's tough to fully concentrate on everything so this may have been happening for a while. Turns out it was only five hands and one of them I folded pre-flop so really just two hands that this affect me on. I caught it early. I've emailed support and am awaiting there response. I feel like they should compensate me for the money I lost on the two hands I did play with such a large disadvantage, but we shall see.

Anyways, I wanted to tell you about the hand I mentioned earlier. I had just got to the table and in the limited time here I pegged ruknight13 as a bit of a donkey, but maybe not horrible and more of a loose passive donkey then a maniac. Also, although I haven't played with vonNeumann I feel as if he's pretty solid. Here is the hand history:

Hand #1331012045001280: San Marino (Turbo, 6-max) 12045
Seat 3: magicaman (354.00 in chips)
Seat 4: CasaConcha (1010.00 in chips)
Seat 5: Liger59 (193.00 in chips)
Seat 6: tacozipp (300.00 in chips)
Seat 7: vonNeumann (10195.00 in chips)
Seat 8: ruknight13 (919.09 in chips)
tacozipp: posts small blind $5
vonNeumann: posts big blind $10
Dealt to CasaConcha [ 7s 7h ]
ruknight13: raises to $20
magicaman: folds
CasaConcha: raises to $30
Liger59: folds
tacozipp: calls
vonNeumann: calls
ruknight13: raises to $40
CasaConcha: calls
tacozipp: calls
vonNeumann: calls
*** FLOP *** [ Qd Qs 8c ]
tacozipp: checks
vonNeumann: checks
ruknight13: bets $10
CasaConcha: calls
tacozipp: folds
vonNeumann: calls
*** TURN *** [ 9d ]
vonNeumann: checks
ruknight13: bets $20
CasaConcha: raises to $40
vonNeumann: folds
ruknight13: calls
*** RIVER *** [ 7c ]
ruknight13: checks
CasaConcha: bets $20
ruknight13: calls
*** SHOW DOWN ***
CasaConcha: shows [ 7s 7h ] (Full House, Sevens full of Queens )
ruknight13: mucks
CasaConcha wins $307 with Full House, Sevens full of Queens

Maybe I'm the donkey?

Let me explain. Pre-flop my 3-bet is pretty standard here. A slightly tight UTG opener will still have a large enough range of hands that I want to play my 77 against him, but I want to get the pot head's up so I have to 3-bet him. Both blinds call (that sucks) and he caps (that sucks). At this point he has a pretty small range of hands (TT-AA, AK, AQs with teh AK and AQs being slightly less likely than bigger pairs). I also feel as if vonNeumann has a hand like 22-99, AJ-AK, and QJs-KQs. The other guy is a donkey so I don't know.

On the flop I really can't fold getting 17-1. It's 22-1 against me hitting a 7 on the turn, but I also might have the best hand. I think it's a pretty easy call and after talking to a good friend of mine it might even be a raise. I'm on the fence on that play. I still feel there is a lot of merit to a call instead of raising here, but raising is definitely viable. What I can't do is fold.

Now that we are on the turn here is what I know. ruknight13 has a good hand and vonNeumann does as well - he has a lot of outs or maybe even has me beat. I also know that ruknight13 won't be able to 3-bet me with AA or KK because I could very likely have 88, 99, or AQ/KQ. There is a very slim chance that my 77 is the best hand at this point - very small. But there is a still a chance of me hitting a 7 on the river (about 4%) and there is still a chance I have the best hand. I'm also getting 10.5-1 to call so I probably have to call. But if I do, vonNeumann is getting 11.5-1 and is probably going to call with hands I want him to fold. If I raise though he will probably fold and he might even fold hands that beat me leaving me head's up against ruknight13 at which point I can simply check behind on the river so it costs me the same amount to raise as it would have to call down.

Anyways, I get the perfect river and crack ruknight's Aces and giggle like a school girl in delight!

vonNeumann made some comments after the hand which lead me to believe I did make him fold a hand which was better than mine in some way which is a good result for me. On the turn if ruknight13 can only have hands TT-AA and AKs (4 combinations that I beat compared to 25 combos that beat me) I still have 13% equity which means I have to call. Also, if the river had blanked (3s for example) I have 13.8% equity and would have to call again.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

First Post - How I became Bucky

So, I'm Bucky. Originally Buck the Canuck. AKA Mark Dodd.

I picked up the nickname at the tables in Grande Prairie. The game was populated with the same crew every week and it ran every Thursday. We played 20-40 Half/Half, which was a big game for me at the time (still is surprisingly). Anyways, I know I have some non-poker related fans so I better explain what a 20-40 Half/Half game is.

This game is played in the limit variety, as opposed to No-Limit, which you are used to seeing on TV. In a limit game the betting ammounts are fixed, they are static. On the first two rounds of betting all bets and raises are in multiples of $20 (in the game I am describing) and on the second two rounds of betting the bets and raises have to be in multiples of $40. They can be one bet and three raises maximum on each round of betting at which point the betting for that round is "capped".

Half / Half refers to what we were playing. We played Limit Holdem and Limit Omaha. After a half an hour of one game we would switch to another. You are all aware of what Holdem is so I'll just explain Omaha. It's the same as Holdem, kind of. You are dealt four cards instead of two and you have to use two of your cards to make your hand. In Holdem you can use 0, 1, or both of your cards but in Omaha you have no choice - you must use two cards. Simple right? Right. Don't worry I don't play in this game anymore and you will almost never see a limit Omaha High game because the game sucks.

Back to my nickname. So we are playing in this game and I am about 23 and the next youngest person would probably have been 40 and I was a regular. I had just learned how to play about 9 months earlier and had starting playing for real money about 5 months earlier and had been in this game for about 2 months at this point. Also, I was absolutely killing the game. It wasn't because I was a good player (I wasn't) it was because these donkey's were SO bad as to be unbelievable.

Anyways, the biggest donator in the game was rambling on about how he had no luck or some shit. Probably lamenting his latest bad beat and I was sitting beside him. I was sick of listening and probably said something like, "Stop playing every hand and you will last longer."

To which he replied, "Shut up, Buckwheat."

At which point the table erupted with laughter. Another dude pipes up, "We should put him in the World Series of Poker and when they ask him his nick name he should say Buck the Canuck." Which only got a few laughs, but it stuck. You see, Buckwheat was a character on some old TV which these guys all knew. I think he was supposed to be a nerd or something and I guess I fit the mold because I used to quote the olds and percentages to these donkeys all the time (I don't do that anymore - never educate the opposition).

Maybe it should have bothered me - but it didn't. I was taking their money and money heals all wounds. Buck The Canuck was born.