How Tom Brady broke my heart, and the Grublog Classic

If I hadn’t downed a tasty mixture of Guinness and Coors Light, I don’t know if I could have swallowed Brady’s interception in the red zone yesterday. With the Pats up by 5, and Adam V practically on the field to put them up by 8 (I took the Pats and gave 6.5), I was thinking of what tourney I could buy into with my winnings… But Brady, the rock, the quarterback who NEVER makes big mistakes, pulled a Favre and threw the ball up for grabs in the red zone. For a guy who plays smart, this was probably the dumbest play he’s ever made, in the biggest game.

And then the Pats give up an 85 yard bomb to Muhsin Muhammed, who runs a slower 40 than HDouble. Stud safety Rodney Harrison’s (who was hurt on an earlier play) backup played undisciplined in the zone coverage, and it nearly cost the Pats the game.

From the betting perspective, it was a heartbreaker. From being up a sure 8 points, to Brady’s INT, leading up to the Pats improbable 2 point conversion to put them up 7. It was mayhem in HDouble’s abode after that 2 point conversion, only to be followed by a Hellmuthian temper tantrum when the Panthers came back.

Point spreads aside, it was a great game, although both teams were sloppy. Very sloppy. The Pats special teams were awful, and Carolina picked up penalty after penalty. For super bowl teams who thrive on playing smart, it was an unimpressive performance. But what a game. The Pats showed their character, making the big plays when they needed to, while the Panthers dropped big passes and didn’t step up their game. Except for Jake D– he made me eat my words, playing a superb game. No interceptions, and his passes were on the money all game long.

I didn’t even want to talk about this, but Scott’s rant was too good to leave out:

“It was a boob, and a damn unsightly one at that, from a woman who is circling the drain and knows it, exposed by a talentless jackass who’s circling the drain and knows it, produced by a brainless cable show that is circling the drain and knows it, and broadcast globally on a leaderless over-the-air network that is circling the drain and knows it.

Anyone shocked or surprised or delighted or enlightened or titillated by this hasn’t been paying attention for the last decade. I don’t want to have to tell you people this again.”

Well said my man.

Grublog Poker Classic
Luckily for me, I didn’t have time to wallow in my sportsbook sorrows, as I discovered that the Grubster had taken the plunge and finally gotten a venue for the blogger tourney:

Date: Sunday, Feb. 22, 2004
Time: 2100 ET (9 p.m.) Tournament Format: No-limit Texas Hold’em Location: ChoicePoker Buy-in: $20 + $2 Prize Pool: $1,000,000 (if 50,000 bloggers enter)

That’s right folks, set your calendars… HDouble is signed up for Choice Poker, a ghost town of a poker room, with a colorful interface. TFG seemed to like the color scheme:

“Looks a bit like the UB client, except uglier in a 1979 Burger King kind of way.”

I’ll take a Whopper and an SNG victory… To Go! When I logged on at 4 pm Pacific, there were only 7 players on the $1/2 table, and I think I saw a dust bunny roll across the screen. But they do have heads-up games, so if anyone wants to take my money take their chances against HD, email me and we’ll set it up.

I actually got to play a little
I wanted to make it to the 7:15 Limit Tourney at Hollywood Park tonight, but after a brutal day dealing with the INS (Mrs. Double is Swedish, and we spent the afternoon talking to a wonderful Immigration officer), I couldn’t muster up the energy to fight through the downpours and LA traffic (rain and LA drivers do not mix), and ended up playin in the $30 NL tourney on Party, along with 941 other people. I actually feel bad about this, because live tourneys are about 10 times more exciting than online tourneys, but sitting in traffic for an hour put me back in front of the comp.

321st out of 941… after making several mistakes early, but catching some big hands, I found myself with a decent sized stack with 321 players remaining. I get AQo in middle position, and test the waters with a decent sized raise. I throw in 500 (blinds are at 150) of my 2500 chips, am raised to 1500 all-in in late position, and reraised 2500 all in by the big blind. I think, and think, and think, and I do the gollum routine “Nooooooo, AK or KK, you’re a LOSER! Yessss, you’re committed, and you have 2 overcards!” I take my odds and my chances, hoping that I’ve got 2 overcards, I push all in, trying to triple up. The flop is 3 Q 8, with no flush… the turn an Ace, and I’m reaching for the 6K pot. The river is a ten… and middle position shows KK, and Big Blind? You guessed it, TT for the set on the river.

Well, I guess I was a big dog preflop, so there you have it. Another river casualty. First prize? $6200.

I need to play a couple limit tourneys before Grubby gets here on Friday so I can win a last-longest bet between me, Grubette, and Mr. Pokergrub himself. The Grubster is coming off a huge multi-table tourney victory, and I hope he continues rolling… all the way to second place this weekend.

Poker Blog Patrol
Well, the Penguin won the third hammer challenge, which should have been mine (see previous post). Penguin gets my respect for demanding a response, yelling HAMMER! not once, but two times in chat. Alas, the table was left speechless.

Lots of buzz about the Poker Blog tourney. I think my buddy Pauly may need to lay off the wacky tobacky– he actually listed me as the favorite in the Blogger tournament. Surely he couldn’t have been sober when he posted these odds:

HDouble 3-1
The Penguin 4-1
Iggy 9-2
Grubby 5-1
London Froggy 8-1
Pauly 10-1

Thanks for the compliment Pauly, but I definitely am not the best NL player of the bunch. Iggy’s been playing NL since before I was driving, and Grubby and The Penguin have been dominating the Multis lately. Not to mention Lord Gorbachev, who just tore it up in Vegas. And if Felicia jumps in, we’re all in trouble– the woman plays NL tourneys every night, and is a proven winner. But can she adjust her B&M game to online play? I’m hoping the answer is no… and if Royal joins, I fall even further down the list. With that many skilled players in the game, the SNG is pretty much a crapshoot. Short term luck always wins, and even Lederer would be something of a long shot in a SNG with such amazing talent. I’m serious, I think.

The king of Poker News informs us that the WSOP is going to be a 7 day affair. Ye gads. If I plan on going, that means 5 precious vacation days sacrificed, just to sit on the rail.

And last but not least, my favorite non-poker content comes from the infamous Boy Genius, who refuses to pull punches. BG takes us through his day, beginning with the agony of Valentine’s day. He also answers the question, “What’s in your wallet?”, with a post revealing what the Genius carries in his back pocket. My favorite journey, however, is the no-holds-barred account of my least favorite activity… yep, underwear shopping:

“My ‘bad’ underwear was outlet mall irregular stuff, and it

Super Bowl Blog

“Whether he likes it or not, a man’s character is stripped bare at the poker table; if the other players read him better than he does, he has only himself to blame. Unless he is both able and prepared to see himself as others do, flaws and all, he will be a loser in cards, as in life.”
–Anthony Holden

Short post today, as I’ve gotta watch the WPT special before the big game. Lederer and Hansen at the final table, so I’m expecting some fireworks. People have called Gus “lucky”, but from what I’ve seen, the guy can really play, and his bluffs are well-timed and well-planned. It will be interesting to see how Lederer fares against the uber-aggressive Hansen. I was also shocked to see that Juha Helppi, the Finnish amateur who won the Aruba tourney, made the final table. He seemed like a good enough player, but he doesn’t have much experience in live tourneys… but neither did Moneymaker. I suppose if Varkonyi can win the world series, anybody can… short term luck beats skill every time…

For my superbowl pick, I’m reposting my prediction from 1/19:
But this week Delhomme will be overwhelmed by the brilliance of Belichek and Crennell. The Pats will pick this boy clean, and the backers will eat him alive. The Pats are giving up a whopping 6.5, but I think I’ll still drop a few bills on my boy Billy B. This game will probably be low scoring, but I’d be happy to see a couple Patriot defensive TDs early. Billy also gets an extra week to prepare, which is worth at least 3 points.

The Pats have been to the Big Dance before, and from the interviews I’ve seen, Carolina has been partying it up all week. Business trip for the Pats, party for the Panthers. I took the Pats and the points today.

To Play or To Write
Yesterday I blogged about becoming a grinder, but the most important thing about grinding is that you put in the hours. Both Iggy and Grubby have lamented recently that reading and writing Poker Blogs has severely cut into their playing time, and I couldn’t agree more. There are lots of great blogs out there, and my daily reading list is growing exponentially, as I discover more folks who can both write and play poker.

Grubby explained this well in his post yesterday:

“More and more, poker has consumed my life. The excellent poker blogging going on is no help! Catching up on the poker blogs is an addiction unto itself.

If I were doing it for a living, that would be a different story. That would be an excuse to play even more. But trying to balance time spent playing (which is at least 3-4 hours a day, plus another couple hours with Poker Grub as well as reading other blogs and boards) with the day job and personal life and sleep is becoming harder to manage.

Personal life and sleep — eh, what’s that?”

Iggy also weighs in on the effort involved in coming up with daily posts:

“Good God, I’m too drunk tired to post anymore. I really just want to play some damn poker, rather than writing about it. I hope you all appreciate the time spent on this craziness.”

I like to write, and I like to play poker, but finding the balance is tough. Especially when you’ve got to pound out code day after day at the 9 to 5. I wish I didn’t need sleep.

Poker Blog Patrol
Grubby’s most recent post takes us through a journey through poker addiction and a big multi-tournament victory. This post is one of the best I’ve read in a while, and I was at the edge of my seat reading it. What a story– you devote yourself to something, you dive in, you struggle, and then you’re rewarded. That’s how it’s supposed to be!

Iggy continues to bring us the best of poker on the web, and he saves me the hassle of scrolling through junk posts on RGP by only providing quality links. Oh yeah, and there’s a chance that I’ll be on the rail with a Guinness, cheering the poker BlogFather at the WSOP final table. If he gets to face off against Hellmuth, I think my head will explode…

Chris H. has a fancy new blog format. Hopefully I can get mine to look as good when I get the site moved over to Movable Type.

Paul finally ponied up for PokerTracker, and I’m looking forward to a breakdown of his 10K hands at .50/1. Hopefully that will heat up the cold cards he’s been getting lately.

The Penguin continues to blast out intellectual posts, and has reached the second rung on the 100 BB challenge. He also got 3rd in a Multi… between him, Grubby, and Lord G, I think I’m gonna get crushed in the poker blogger tourney.

Mean Gene is cool, his Mom told me:

“The dealer would shake his head. “I’m sorry, you’re playing Chip Jett. No one as uncool as you can beat him.”

I’d fight hard to keep my lower lip from trembling. “My mom says I’m cool.”

Stick and Move writes about his recent run of cards… I wish I was pulling in 31 BB pots.

There are a bunch of great blogs that I haven’t got around to linking up to yet, but hopefully I’ll get a chance to roll through those soon.

Poker’s On, time to go! Hope the cards hit you in the head, and Go Pats!