Sunday, November 29, 2009

World Clock tool.. What time is it where YOU are?

Since I talk to so many players around the world, I thought I'd post this useful page I use to keep track of what time it is in other parts of the world.

Qlock <- click here

It's also useful for showing me how much daylight I've used up by sleeping in! Warning: If you are on Vampire hours, this may be a sobering experience... ;)

Where's Darvin now?

I'm finally watching the WSOP Main Event Final table on the internet.. while playing cash games. I was playing HORRIBLE earlier, knowing I should have gone to sleep. I was down almost 40% of my bankroll! I am now down only 20% now, with patience, no tilt, etc... I would have stopped playing if I couldn't keep my level of play up, and worried about it later.
The last thing I want to do, is feel I "need" to get even. I've seen so many people make that mistake and go broke after being ahead, or almost even, etc... If you are playing your A game, and not on tilt, your variance will not matter. It's NICE to always win, always be ahead, but it's not reality. So no need to stress about downswings, or overextend trying to "recoup" losses.

Speaking of playing my A game, I need to get some sleep! It's going to be a WAR tomorrow, and I look forward to it. Dream Job battlefront, Here I Come!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weak Points Your Game - other category

Just before breaks. How many times have you been knocked out of a tournament just before a break?
Just after breaks. How many times have you played not as well just after a break? If you play better just after a break, you are doing something right. If you play worse RIGHT after a break, change what you are doing. I have had both problems at various times. I watch for every little area to improve, and this was one of those that was a little elusive.

At home, I play where it is too COLD often. This actually affects my gameplay. And while I had more to say about this earlier, I don't now, so we'll save that for another time.

Blogging while I play. I should save that for an activity when I need downtime away from the game. Or when I am playing only 1 tournament. and not at all when I am playing Cash games.

Dream Job.. Final Tomrrow.. Really? I have a chance??

It's starting to hit me.. I've got a 4th and 2 5th's in tournaments in the past week. I've won 3 tickets for the PCA final on Dec 6th. Win one of those 3, and I'm going to the Bahamas!

Tomorrow is the PokerStars Dream Job Final. currently about 404 players. I'm figuring around 500 by tomorrow, at most? I like those odds. It'll be some fierce competition I'm sure. But it'll be fun :)
The Winner gets $5,000 a month for the next year, and $40,000 in Live Tournament entry fees. Wow. That's the Dream Job for me! Throw in a Racing sponsorship and it couldn't get any better! Well, maybe a record deal as well, and then we have perfection. LOL!
But seriously, if I win this, I'll be able to afford being my own sponsor. And though it's going to be one of the most hotly contested contests on Pokerstars, I'm feeling good about it.

PCA Freeroll Fantasy Main Events (I paid to win my satellites, how does that make them Freerolls?) on Dec 6.
5am PT, 2811 players
11am PT, 2831 players
5pm PT, 5843 players. It pays to be the early bird! That's going to be a LONG day for me.. I am entered in all 3 tournaments. Top 9 of each win a package though! Isn't that generous of Pokerstars? It should be a blast in the Bahamas!

I am looking forward to what is after that to focus on. Meeting my goals as I go, but setting up my warroom for optimum play still the main priority right now. (poker priority)
Bay 101 Shooting Stars is in March, WSOP in next June/July, WCOOP next September, ..
In light of all this tournament fun, I will still be concentrating on my cash games and live play as well. I have a couple poker friends to talk to about things and help with that offline theory that is good for your game. I think I underrated it before, but am beginning to see the light.

If things keep going this well, I won't need to worry about backing or staking, I'll be able to write my own ticket. Thinking positive always helps, in all areas of life.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Distractions, Stamina, Satellites, etc.. and a Royal Flush!

You know, I'd make a whole lot more posts if I stopped trying to make them while I'm playing :)
I was playing 4 tournaments earlier, and doing well in each for a while, but eventually, you'll make a small mistake here or there, or time out in this hand just before you click , etc...

I've had a goal of winning a seat in the Pokerstars Carribean Adventure in the Bahamas, and have been playing those satellites when I can. You can win up to *3* tickets for the PCA main tournaments on Dec 6, at 5am, 11am and 5pm (PST) So far, I have 2 tickets, so I'll be playing the 11am for sure, and have to figure out which of the other 2 will be best for me.. but if things go well, I'll win my 3rd ticket, and enter all 3! I had hoped to win 1, was glad to win 2, and am actually optimistic of winning a 3rd. Wouldn't have thought that a couple months ago.

I have won a few $109 seats for various tournaments, including the PokerStars Dream Job Final. It's on Nov 29th, at 4pm PST. The winner gets a $5k a month salary and $40k in tournament entries! For a year. Isn't that the perfect job for a new professional poker player?
Well, it is and it isn't. I would LOVE to take advantage of that opportunity. But just like winning the Lottery, it would allow for a different set of problems to be handled. Like becoming too lax, too loose, etc... Maybe earning your way there on your own would be more satisfying? More rewarding?
You wouldn't have to listen to the naysayers "oh he is just a pro because he WON a donkfest" etc.. But you will always get that sort of thing from at least SOME people. And you should never let it bother you. It's human nature that small minds will gossip. Most people grow out of it, eventually. Don't let it affect you, it can't unless you let it. Always remember that.

So I've been getting distracted from Bloggin. Had lots of stuff to write about, but have been too busy playing when I should be bloggin, and vice versa. Time to start writing stuff down.

It's only been about 6 hours of play time, but I'm getting tired, and know what happens when I try to play while too tired. I don't play my "A" game. And I should follow my own advice. Since I give it out so freely where it's not asked for ;)

Having the laptop fixed will allow me to write more while I commute, where I have plenty of time to think.

I better get back to building this bankroll. Been keeping ahead, even after paying for all my tournaments, etc.. Not even counting those $109 seats ;) ... Got a couple $215 ones to win for Sunday....
Until later.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some Poker News, I have fun short live tourney, minor places in big tourneys online

So, what's the latest? If only I had enough time to play like this guy, who set the world record for hands in a day? ( as far as we know, rumors have it others have hit this mark as well) .. from our friends at PokerstarsBlog

The Brunson 10 are up to things.. and you can follow them on Twitter @brunson10

I played in a live tournament against my better judgement last night, and my instincts were right. I had a good time, but played worse than I have in a while. Not really bad, just picked bad spots a couple times, and should have played a lot more conservatively. Fancy Poker Syndrome. I have learned to NOT play poker online, in tournament or cash games, if at all possible, when my instincts say not to. This was a once a month home game among some friends, so I went anyway.
At least I look like a total newb for next time ;)

It looks like this was stuck in draft folder for a while...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Winning Seats, and Ladies Tournaments

I hear Carbon Poker has a Ladie's Only weekly, and that reminded me to post about Pokerstars Ladies Tournament at the PCA, qualifiers online, info HERE.

Feel free to sign up through my affiliate banners here if you haven't already :)

I almost posted this on my personal blog, and my personal blog post on here! How embarrassing! Y'all dont' really want to hear about my person life, do ya? That's ok, I'll stick to poker here ;)

It's about time to head out to play some live poker, but I have a $100,000 tourney tomorrow. So maybe I'll play online tonight and watch a movie and get some sleep. But I NEED to keep that live practice going, part of my regular poker diet :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do you show cards when playing for cash Online or Live?

It seems to me, that few people these days are willing to show their cards, or their bluffs while playing online. Sometimes, they will live, a small percentage of the time more than online. It seems when everyone is having fun, people are more likely to show, AND more likely to have fun even when losing. This will keep people around longer, so it's good for your game, right? Yet, sadly, it's a rare sight online. I'd say 1 table in 15 or so might enjoy a good conversation, and maybe 1 table in 30 actually have a few people having fun! Here's to more fun if you see me at the felts, Live or Online :)
Why not have fun in everything you do in life? There are enough situations where you need to be serious, but even then, a positive attitude will go a long way to making things more bearable.

Now some will say they won't show, because it's better to keep them guessing. And I understand this philosophy, it's very logical and solid gameplay, for the most part. But if you are able to change gears, which is a must to play with the best, showing can be fun ;) Just make sure you don't outwit them so good that you forget where ya are in the hand!
Salute to "rocky144" on Pokerstars who I just won a big gamble against :)

Maint"ain"ence .. things to do!

I've got some updates to make to my blog, some charts I need to format for blog posting, some sites to review... and some money to make to add to my bankrolls on multiple sites. For now, my primary site is Pokerstars, but I have always planned on having enough of a bankroll on each of the sites to not miss out on any promotions, special tournaments, or cash game invites ;)
However, like any empire, we must build piece by piece, chip by chip.

Sites I plan to review and likely play on:
Ultimate Bet (played free, but never deposited yet)
Doyle's Room
Full Tilt

Primary concerns as a poker professional ... RAKEBACK! Time is money. The busier you are, the less time you have to waste, or spend somewhere for free when you can spend somewhere else getting paid. There are always exceptions though.

Last, but certainly not least, I've got a few posts to make on a variety of subjects, and with some luck, they might even be entertaining!

-Wookie aka ZomBParadox

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jeffrey Pollack Resigns from WSOP

Check this link on Tao of Poker for the info, it has several stories linked.

In unrelated news, this guy drove into a swamp with his pricey vehicle..

Life is busy, pc should be built this weekend if all goes well. I may have bought a bad motherboard and chip. or the new PS is bad. We'll see this weekend, pick up a guitar, and play some live poker in Concord. That's a busy Saturday to be ready for the Sunday Tribulations (online events)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WSOP Final Table Logos, etc

Poker Deals and Final Tables (like this one from Poker News Daily) are kind of, you know, funny. Your average Poker player may be all about the money, but not this one. Can you imagine if Racing teams jumped from Driver to Driver based on whether they were in the running for the championship or not? Sounds crazy, huh?
If I sign with a sponsor, it won't be a light decision. I won't endorse a product I don't believe in. Just like the good old days. There are always exceptions, but I for one, will not be sacrificing my integrity to reperesent something I don't believe in. They say I'm a good salesman, but that's not a job I ever went for, because I would have to believe in whatever I sold. I'll save my convincing for important things like encouraging people Be themselves, and to Believe in themselves!
I know one thing. I applaud Darvin Moon for not taking deals that didn't suit him. How often have you seen someone compromise what they believe in, just for the quick buck? It's refreshing to see something different.

That reminds me though of something I wanted to post about.. the Paradox of needing a sponsor when you have the ability but are poor, or not yet established, yet when you are established enough to garner the proper attention, you are often capable enough to no longer NEED a sponsor! Life is full of paradoxes like this.. and thus the name of my blog!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WSOP on ESPN 6pm PST 11/10/09

I was narrating live, for the WSOP final 2 players last night between Moon and Cada, when Twitter decided I was over the limit for spam and shut me down for a few hours. I didn't realize there was a daily Tweet limit! I guess I'll have reduce the retweets, and condense the hands into 1 Tweet in the future.
So with that, I ended up going to bed! And since I do not yet know who won, I can try to avoid the Net all day and watch it on ESPN :) *IF* I can resist the temptation... Do I want to? I'm not sure.
I'm usually the type of person who would rather know realtime. Unless I have something DVR'ed and can watch it later :)

Spoiler info!:
If you want to read about who won before tonight, check out Tao of Poker Pauly's post here :
I only recommend blogs I read myself.

After tonight, I will finally be able to work on my "between bankrolls" situation, and start building one. I'm still narrowing down computer parts, isolation in my room, a comfy 18 hour comfortable chair, and an optimum schedule with update revisions built in.

There are a couple bloggers out there with bankroll challenges and such that I need to catch up on, and will undoubtedly report about them and my own success, or lack thereof, here on my blog. Hopefully, I'll even find the time to be entertaining. Don't hold your breath though.

Monday, November 9, 2009

WSOP Final 2, Moon Vs Cada Live Reports

Moon looking strong.. Cada seems be the favorite of everyone the longer it goes on. Has he played enough to not let his youth get the best of him? Can he outlast the old man?? Will Darvin Moon keep it together and stick to his game? Things look good so far, but it's still anyones game. I'll check back later.

WSOP Moon all In, Cada folds.. Whew! and my Twitter died!

I was happily tweeting away, keeping up with the action, when I learned that there is a limit on Tweet status updates, so I will consolidate whole hands and tweet less often so I dont' disappear off the radar :)
Sorry to all those who were following and just starting to compliment me on my reporting. Fast, furious and just the facts, but I really do enjoy Pauly's reporting style better, along with Pokerati and Change100, you can't go wrong ;)
I posted a link from Pokerstars where they listed everyone who is reporting," find someone you know to follow if you aren't listening live..."
" listen in here, hit play"

More soon. I'll double check twitter in a few mins.

Tom "DURRR" Dwan joins Team FullTilt

Sometime when I wasn't lookin, this happened. I see several posts yesterday on friends blogs, like and and others I'm sure.

What else have I missed this week? Lots of moving and shaking going on in the business world as well as the poker world!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Foxwoods Leaders on Sunday

They plan on playing down to 10, but here are the top 10 of 27 now..

1. Soheil Shamseddin – $945,000

2. Lee Markholt – $812,000
3. Terrence Chan – $764,000
4. Matthew Stout – $687,000
5. Steve Brecher – $592,500
6. Michael Mizrachi – $575,000
7. Frank Calo – $569,000
8. Jason Mercier – $490,000
9. Alexi Lammi – $473,000
10. Eric Froehlich – $425,000

Darvin Moon and Joe Cada will be heads up in WSOP final

I'm so tired! But we are down to 2 players in the WSOP Main Event. TV on Tuesday night should be great, and I look forward to seeing those HOLE cards. There was a lot of raising and folding going on, and was a while before we saw a lot of all ins and calls.

Chip Counts:
Joe Cada 136,925,000
Darvin Moon 58,875,000

1. $8,546,435
2. $5,182,601
3. Antoine Saout, France $3,479,485
4. Eric Buchman, USA$2,502,787
5. Jeff Shulman, USA, $1,953,395
6. Steven Begleiter, USA, $1,587,133
7. Phil Ivey, USA, $1,404,002
8. Kevin Schaffel, USA, PokerStars qualifier, $1,300,228
9. James Akenhead, UK, $1,263,602

Thank you Pokerstars Blog for info when I was too tired to type or think :) Goodnight all!
Play resumes Heads Up Monday evening around 10pm, PST I hear. Not sure if it's EST instead, but we'll see :)

Edit: fixed some sleepy typos!

15 to 16 hours later.. 5 still left in WSOP!

It's been an interesting WSOP MAIN EVENT Final Table. It's the first one that I've witnessed realtime, and followed all the way from start to finish.
As has happened to me so many times, when playing perfect poker, no regrets, no mistakes, nothing to play better when evaluating hands after, Ivey got knocked out by Moon on a suckout. If it can happen to Ivey, it can happen to anyone, right? Yes, it can. That's the truth of the matter. Poker will never be as boring a Nascar race where the lead never changes, because of that.

Everyone has played smart poker. Only Moon has made a couple "mistakes" that people were going on about, but maybe that's because he IS the novice tournament player, and everyone knows better than him how to play and what they WOULD have done in his shoes. How easy it is to think that from the outside, hindsight is 20/20.

Most everyone has been trying to avoid going all in and risking races unless they have to. Even when they have had to, we have seen precious little of those. They will be able to reduce the Tuesday night broadcast pretty far based on todays play so far!

Shulman is shortstacked severely but everyone else is good, with Moon in 4th, and the other 3 in the 43 to 53 mil range. I believe Cada was in the lead when we went on break, but I'm tired an could be wrong :P see my tweets for updates.
upon inspection looks like Moon got a hand while I wasn't looking a lot closer to the others who are all under 50 mil right now. Moon still in 4th but for all intents and purposes it's a 4 way race at the moment and anyone's game.

Who wants to see Shulman make the comeback?
This one time, in Poker Camp, I came back in a Hubbles from 65 chips to get 15th! lol
yup, we're tired around here. Back to the felts.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Twitter, WSOP final 9, and some thoughts

I think the reason I started using Twitter was because of Poker and the WSOP! It was pretty cool to keep up with stuff faster than it was appearing on the web. I love the live broadcasts, even when they don't have video.

Despite everyone's concern about, and I quote, "the worst play ever at a WSOP final table", Darvin Moon is back in 2nd place.
Eric Buchman is going to make me eat my words. But that's the great thing about poker. It's taught me to make mistakes, and keep moving forward with a positive attitude. Let me find my tweets...
"Made some crazy predictions for WSOP,
top 3 Ivey, Cada, and Shulman.
middle 3 Moon, Schaffel, Begleiter,
Bottom 3 Buchman Akenhead Saout" (to quote myself)

I got Akenhead right, but Buchman going to make me eat my words with the lead, and Schulman got a long way to go to get to top 3. I like Schulman as a sleeper winner because he talks poker daily. Saout doing well too, and looking strong. Phil Ivey grinding away, and still a solid contender. I'd bet on him if I had anything to bet!

More later...

WSOP Final 9 is down to 7... reports, other news

Well I hadn't planned on blogging during the Final Table, but here's a couple posts... maybe I should find a position in reporting on major events.... wonder if it would get in the way of me Playing in such events? I should enquire from all my twitter friends, with a decent percentage of those in the poker news world, among others.

Moon makes a big raise, and get reraised, with 45 million in t he post, he has to only call 6.4mil, everyone screaming he has pot odds, etc.. how can he not call? He folds. This put him at 39mil. Everyone talks about it, he explains why, etc... remember not to let the crowd or what "other people think" distract you when in a major tournament, like the largest poker tournament in the world :P
This may be the most talked about hand so far.. except for ..

Schaffel out with Aces vs Kings, Buchman hits K and K for Quads!

Schaffel had already knocked out Akenhead with 99 vs 33. This after Akenhead had doubled up against Saout, with K Q vs A K, hitting a needed Queen on the river! Even on the radio broadcast, it was exciting play ;)

Current Standings at Dinner Break (7pm to 9pm):
Eric Buchman 55,175,000
Darvin Moon 41,950,000
Steven Begleiter 37,200,000
Antoine Saout 26,225,000
Phil Ivey 16,350,000
Joe Cada 11,650,000
Jeff Shulman 7,025,000

Kevin Schaffel $1,300,288 for 8th
James Akenhead $1,263,602 for 9th

Posting this, then getting back to some reviews/reading. And of course I have to go read the Tao of Poker! And PokerNews Daily, etc....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Week in Review, Bad Beat Weekend, Let's talk...

It was weekend of solid poker that got waylaid by river rats and bad beats. I’ll have to review the exact nature of this hand, but I was all in with K K vs A 10 and A 8 .. feeling good. Flop x Q Q. … Turn Queen. All I need to dodge is the 2 remaining Aces. River a 4th Q! I lost with King kicker to their A kickers ! Out of tourney. It should have been an easy triple up :(

How many times have I given the advice to avoid coin flips and all ins unless you have to? How many times have I run deep in tournaments by following my own advice? Quite a few! And yet, that is one of my leaks right now. When playing a wide variety of tournament sizes, Sit & Goes, cash games, you can forget you need to be able to change gears at any table at any time. Do I need to put post-it notes near my PC to remember? Do need to stick them to my forehead when I play live??? I will , if that is what it takes!

I have decided to start adding Poker Terms regularly to my blog, because of the length of time it took me to find out certain terms while reading books, magazines, etc…

Today’s Terms are about position. We all know the Big Blind (BB), the Small Blind (SB), and the Button. But the last player to go before the button is called the Cut-Off, and the person before that is the Hijack. I played a lot of poker, and read a lot of books before I finally realized exactly where those positions were. The term doesn’t really matter, it doesn’t affect your game. It’s just easier to understand when writing or reading about it to use these terms to describe a situation.

Which brings me to Poker Math. There is a lot of math to know, if you so wish. What you see on TV all the time is the hand percentages relative to each other in that hand. You can learn the math for Pot Odds, which is the odds you are getting if you win relative to the money you need to put in the pot to call. You can learn Implied Odds, which is what the odds WILL BE at the end of the round if bet and X people call/raise, etc… and takes a little bit of calculation/guesswork! You can read the future, right? Then there is reverse implied pot odds… etc…. I’ll stop here for a reason.
For some players, having all that information, will help you with your balance sheet on your decisions on whether to call or not. The more mathematical, OCD, anal retentive, scientific, etc… the more likely this info will help you. You’ll start sounding like some of the pros “well I’m getting 2.5 to 1 if I call…” etc. You can learn the exact percentages, down to 54.4545 percent.
HOWEVER, the less mathematical you are, the more likely all this info will just get in the way of making a sound decision. Depends. Everyone advocates learning it, memorizing it to the best of your ability if you are going to play poker for a living. Goes with the territory.

But, you CAN play very successfully without the exact odds. Learn what you can, but don’t let it bog you down. There are only 52 cards in a deck. 4 suits. 13 of each suit. If you have an inside straight draw, there are only 4 cards that can complete your straight draw. If you have an open ender (can complete on the top or bottom of your straight) then you have 8 cards to complete your straight (4 high and 4 low). If you have a flush draw (4 cards of same suit) there are 9 more cards of that suit, so you have 9 outs. If you have 2 pair and a flush draw, you have the 9 plus 2 plus 2 , for 13 outs. This is a much easier way for most people to deal with the above math. Don't forget to subtract cards that won't help you or will hurt your hand. There is no feeling like praying for a 9 to complete your straight, getting it, but it's the 9 of Hearts, and it completes your opponents Flush.

Let’s take it one step further than most books point out. If you need a high card (10 through Ace) and 8 people called to play this pot, odds are the majority of them have high cards. There will always be exceptions, but in general a lot of people in a hand means more high cards are taken. If you need a low card and there are 8 people in the pot, the odds are increased that your low card is not taken. The majority of those staying in have high cards most of the time, right? The reverse is also true… if you need a low card, and 8 people folded pre flop, your odds are increased that your card was FOLDED. This is a MINOR point, but is part of the “advanced” class of probability. It’s like knowing the difference between a 54% vs 46% and 56% vs 44%. Minor but still a factor.
Math is a science. Anyone can learn it. Poker has a lot of variables involved, and there is a lot to know, so someone may have a very slight edge by knowing all the math. Keep that in mind. The more you play, the more the math averages out in the long run. But you need to be able to deal with the lovely thing called VARIANCE. That’s how much things can lean left or right before they balance out in the middle over time. Those long leans in 1 direction can make you superstitious!
Reading people, is a people skill. It’s an ART. This is what keeps the math geeks from ruling the roost in Poker. Arts are not like science. They are not exact. You can be wrong! But if you are right more often than you are wrong, and you use this skill wisely, you can tell when to hold’em and when to fold’em as the old song goes. More on this later.
I’m watching Darvin Moon have a great day on his way to the Final table in the 2009 WSOP, and noticing a few things. He’s been running lucky. He knows it, he’s said it, etc…. He flops a flush, King high. That means there is still an ace out there. His opponent flopped a flush too. He slow plays it, calls and doesn’t raise til the river. The board pairs. Now there is a chance for higher flush draw, and a boat (full house), which will beat his king high flush. We’ve all had it happen before right? That’s poker folks! I hear Brunsons voice everytime. I think there was a couple more hands where he slow played a good hand, but one that could have been beat. How many times you slow play your set of aces, only to lose to a straight or flush? Make sure you got a good read when you do this, because it could cost you!

That’s enough for this evening. Until next time folks.