Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pushmonkeys and Calling-stations oh my

Quick rundown of a few hands from today just because I feel they bring up a few topics that I want to elaborate on.

First topic and examples. The intermittent calling-station. This is the guy that doesn’t have the image at the table of being a calling-station, but for one or more hands he opens the bank. Hand 1 – I have AA. I raise 5xBB; he calls. Flop J-high. I raise it pot. He calls. I’m wondering now. Turn 9, I think. I bet big again, but not quite pot. He calls. Now I am scared that he is slow-rolling his set. River is a 6. Probably a bad bet on my part, but I only have a 3rd or so of the pot left so I put it in. A more sound play would have been to check/call this river, now that I think more about it. He calls again. He turns over AQ. WTF. I do not get this hand what so ever. I am totally befuddled. I should have added him to my buddy list. Hand 2 – I raise 5xBB with QQ; he calls. Flop 7-high. He checks. I bet pot and he calls. Check again from him to the J that hits on the turn. I bet big again and he calls. Ok he is playing me like a punk; I can sense the asswhipping coming. River he checks. I don’t even need to think about it so I check behind him. He shows down A7o. I once again have no clue her, but at least this dude had top pr on the flop. This is the first hand that I saw him play this horribly. Honestly, he didn’t even stand out for me. This might have more to do with the amount of tables that I play at once than due to him not showing this calling-station pattern. Maybe he thought that he had the best hand on the flop and thereafter just had a bad read on my holdings. This is the likely case IMO. So he should have raised me right there on the flop and got some info to where he stood in the hand. This is why I hate the calling style and I think you lose more money in the hands by just calling the other guy down; you have no idea where you’re at. Plus, this is why you will never see me call a PF raise with A7o. You hit TPTK and you are nowhere near in the lead on the hand.

Second topic and examples. World had a few Pushmonkeys at both tables. 2 at 1 tab and 1 at the other. I tangled twice in the ½ hr that I sat with them. I had one right to my right, which is exactly where you want a pushmonkey. He is in mid position a pushes his $4. I call with 88. (I don’t make this call with any one than a pushmonkey, especially not from MP.) Everyone obliges me and allows my isolation. Pushmoney turns over 55. His 20% chance doesn’t show up and it is Ash 1 – Pushmonkeys 0. Now lets forward the action, due to time constraints – Other table, 2 pushmoneys. Pushmonkey shoves $6 worth of chips into the center, for like the 6th time since I sat down, from EP. I have JJ in MP. I raise to $10. A guy in LP takes his whole time as I sweet out my huge bet with a semi-strong holding which is quite vulnerable. He finally folds and I let out a breath of relief. Push-boy turns over AKo and we are off to the races. My horse wins and it Ash 2 – Pushmoneys 0.

Pushmonkey: (Retardo erectus) Player that buys in for a small amount and pushes all of their chips into the pot when they get a good starting hand.

I will try to explain my theory and thoughts on this phenomenon. If you have anything to add to my thoughts, I would be happy to read. I think the overwhelming reason that they play this style is because they are afraid of their postflop skills. I think they are insecure with their abilities to out-play the players at the table. Basically they are intimidated so they just want to get their money in with a decent hand and hope for the best. Her are some of their traits. Some are tighter than others but these are mostly the hands you can expect them to push with: any Prs, KQs, AKs, AKo, AQs, AQo, KQs, KQo, and the looser version of push-fag even adds in weaker holdings like AJs, AJo, ATs, ATo, KJs, and QJs. I haven’t noticed any playing stronger or weaker holds in different positions; they just seem to push from anywhere as long as their starting requirements are met. There is no skill to this game, though it does put the table on edge. A lot of TAG and weak- tight players loosen up, including myself, and begin playing slightly above marginal hands against them. Everyone at the table is hoping to get a hand before the ATM runs out money and leaves the table pissed. These guys give some bad beats out while at the tables, as well as, winning allins that the other players would have normally never gotten into in the first place. So, basically the whole table is on tilt. A hot-bed of activity, often with 3 or 4 people going allin PF. It is truly crazy when the monkeys are out of their cages.

Halloween or Trick-or-Treat

30th – I only played for 10 min. I only played around 2 cycles. I had to quit and eat and get ready for work. I got on the computer to check out the forums and while reading I heard my Ultimate Buddy beep. I checked it out and noticed that the Fam was playing. I got on the Penny tabs with them. About my 3rd hand I get QQ. I ended up getting another guy to get all his money in with me on a low flop. K comes next and then my Q on the river. I double up. Very next hand comes AA. I raise. Then the player to my left doubles the bet. About 5 people call as it comes back around to me. I click the allin button as fast as I can. I get 3 callers. My Aces hold and I am up over $6. Dinner’s done in the next few hands so I call it a day. I end up making $4 or so for 10 min of my time.

31st, Halloween – I got off this morning and put in an hr and a half at the virtual felt. No tables were open at World so I played solely at UB. Damn I hate that the player base at Px is so small. I would play almost exclusively there because of the no rake if there were some freakin’ tables open at odd hrs. I figured with Party and the other scared sites that players would flock to other sites. Px hasn’t increased much that I can see. I guess some don’t totally understand the legislation and quit and most of the others hit the big 3. UB, FT, and Stars. I have noticed more people at UB. The games have loosened up considerably, at least at my current stakes. Boy I get side tracked easy. I won around a 20 spot. I hit a few big hands. My meds started kicking in and I had to hit the hay.

I got up and Ash-wife and Ash-kids were heading out the door to do a little trick-or-treating, so I showered up and hit the computer. I got 2 World tabs going and 4 UB. I made around $20 apiece on both sites in the hr and a half that I played before work.

Double-up Baby or Roll Rollin’

Quick Update. I am writing this just to give anyone that cares a small look into my poker career. I cashed out the rest of my bankroll 2 weeks ago. I decided I would start anew - personal reasons among others. Poker has been good to me this year. I have grown a lot in my game I feel. I have achieved more than I ever would have expected at the start of this year. If it sounds like I’m bragging, I’m sorry, for I am just passing on the story of my good fortune. I started with $180 dollars this year, which was last year’s total profits. I have thus far cashed out $4600 this year. So as I have already mentioned, I am starting over. 2 weeks ago I began with a $250 bankroll. So here we start with my journey. I this post was going to be rather short and succinct, but sadly it turned out quite lengthy. Read on at your own peril.

The first week of my new journey was pretty stagnant, with me holding my own but little else. I didn’t put in a lot of time at the tables either. Last week I messed around solely on UB for a few days. I had $130 starting roll on UB. I loaned out $100 of my online BR at UB. I got slapped with some bad beats, bad calls, and bad plays on the $10NL tables. I was left with a mere $12 at UB. Now here are my results from my last 4 days off. I was going on nights so I decided to stay up and play all-nighters. I played both at Px and UB. I would post these daily or so, but my computer locks-up when I try to on the net and play both of these sites at the same time. And when I decide to get off, I am usually too tired to type updates. So I start with $12 at UB and $100 at Px.

26th – I played for a long time – at least 5 hrs. I started off up on both sites. Then the bad beats started and I was down. Not fun when you have a small roll and variance decides it is time to kick in. Nothing like watching the session’s loot you accumulated through slow, hard-fought, small hands, disappear to bad beats on a few huge hands. I ground my way back into the black. I ended down slightly on Px. And up to $18 on UB at the Penny tables. Not a bad effort at those stakes. As aforementioned, Penny tabs at UB and $25NL at Px. As you can see I’m not conforming to my normal strict bankroll management system. I know that I have the skills to play with less of a roll. If variance contrives to put a major down swing on me I will surely drop to lower limits. (On Px that is. You can’t get any lower than the Penny tables. LOL) Total session: up $5 for all that work.

27th – A lot better results this night. I was in the flow with my reads, plus I hit a plethora of flops. I won some big hands. And when all the money went in with me having the best hand, I usually pulled out the win. Nothing better than when the odds work like they are meant to. Oh yea, lady luck did hook me up with a suckout for a nice pot. One weird thing is that I get barely any stimulation for allins and big bets at the Penny tabs anymore. When I started out on the Penny tabs I was on the edge of my seat just about every bet. Now it is just business as usual. I just play solid poker and let the chips go as they may. I did lose 2 big hands over the course of the all-nighter, but luckily my lead was large enough to sustain them. I played the usual stakes at Px, doing well and gaining more than a buyin. (2 tabling there.) On UB, playing 4 tables, I had a great night. Making $12 dollars at Pennys. (6 buyins!) When I got to $32 I was so pumped by my night’s luck that I decided to put all $30 on 3 $10 tabs and see how it went. I continued to slap people around and gained a few buyins there also. I did keep 1 .01/.02 table going so I could play with the Fam. Total earnings for the night: $85.

UB was the original site that I learned the game on. (That I made my way up the ladder on anyway.) One thing that I noticed as I am making my way back up through the ranks, is that tons of players are playing at the same stakes as a year ago. I don’t understand this. I remember these people because I took notes on them the first time around and UB makes it easy to mark them with colored dot icons. Did these people not gain enough experience to advance or are they satisfied with where they are? Do they just cashout each week? I don’t see ever being sated with my game or anything in my life, really. Maybe this is just a personal character trait or flaw possibly. I don’t know. Shouldn’t we always want to grow? Anyways, I just found this a bit weird. Plus another thing I kinda’ noticed with them is that most are TAG or weak-tight. Maybe that is the key: they are conservative by nature and therefore hold to order and normalcy. Just something that I noticed.

28th – Another night in the zone. This was an all-nighter to rival any before it. I made it up to $85 or so on the $10 tabs and decided to step-it-up. So I started playing on the $25 tables on both sites. Plus 1 tab again with the Fam to be sociable and have fun. Once again I was able to sustain a few hands that went totally wrong. I got slapped by a 2-outer. (Those always put me on the cusp of tilt. I did actually rage-tilt at the tables for a few min., but luckily pulled myself together before I lost any real money. I was betting and calling with shit.) Damn I hate when I spazz-out like that. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to just let it roll-off like some of the pros. Just be able to take it in stride. Hopefully one day after I see enough hands and watch enough money get passed around, I can be at that Zen level. I am actually close to that at the Penny tables. Though sometimes I would like to put my keyboard in a suckout’s arse or contemplate bashing their brains out – oh yea, if they had a brain they wouldn’t have made the call with 2nd-pr shit kicker, right, right. Sorry about the small rant. Onward-ho. I also made some bad reads and bluffs, but overall I was eating up the tables. (As must as a slow-paced TAG can.) Rocked for 4 max buyins. What a night. I think I have actually had 2 sessions where I gained more than 4 buyins at higher stakes, that is. I made money on both sites. Plus a nice rake on Px.

29th – Another good session. Man I am glad that, as of yet, variance has decided to let me get my roll building before she puts it to me. Got sacked (yea I wrote that right, sacked – full-force to the nads) by a 2-outer again. I know people hate bad beat stories, but damn, a 2-frickin’-outer. I have AK. They have AQ. K hits the flop. We check. Crafty me, hee, hee. Turn brings the Q and my huckleberry. I raise; he pushes. I call. I have him totally dominated. He is drawing to 2 Ladies in the deck. We’re talking like 22 to 1 odds here: 4.5%. River Q. And tilt comes full force. I throw my up in disgust. Crom, I scream shaking my fist up towards Valhala. (Crom for the unenlightened, is my poker good. Just ask Conan if you’re a nonbeliever.) But to “sort’a” make up for it I get the much-coveted Resuck. KK vs QQ PF allin for my whole buyin. Flop spikes the dreaded Q suckout. My heart sinks. Turn is a blank and I begin a facetious laugh lamenting my luck. Then comes the Cowboy, bringing the mighty resuck, as he guns her ass down in the street at high noon. OK, a little over-dramatized but redemption none-the-less. Overall this was a very slow night, card-wise. Most of my time this whole session was wrought with fold after fold. I was horribly card-dead. I did end up $60 or so. I won a few big hands, but the rest of the time I seemed to just fold. Very boring night. I was so bored that I called it a night early and went to be.

Quick recap. So I started 2 weeks ago with a $250 BR. These last 4 days I doubled that roll. I am sitting now with a little under $400 now. I would have over $500 now but I bankroll’d some of the Fam. I started with $12, 4 days ago on UB and now sit with $159. That is some power poker. I am very happy with my progress and my current game. Hopefully it continues to rollover exponentially at this pace. Thanks for your time. Later

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My First Live Tourney - Part 2: The Final Table

They seat me in the BB with the short-stack. 1st hand I have to put in all my chips. I say loudly allin and get a few chuckles from the sympathetic viewers. I get dealt 96 of hearts. I figure at least they are suited. 2 people play the hand and I more than triple-up when 3 preordained hearts hit the flop. That is why 96h is now and forever will be my favorite hand.

I finally started getting some nice hole cards and took down a few nice pots. I also hit TP on the flop twice from the BB. I doubled and redoubled my chip count. I just kept playing tight and watched the table as the styles started to become evident. Some were blind stealing. A few players were bullying the table.

One in particular, Rahilly, was buying pots left and right. He was chipleader, drunk, and being loud and totally obnoxious. He was running his mouth as he bullied the table, often nonchalantly showing the bluff or semi-bluff. Twice he took out a short-stack by pushing and thus isolating with junk. Both times he sucked out on the river with the cards up. He would then shrug his shoulders and talk junk. I got sick of his mouth at started making loud comments about his attitude.

There were 6 of us left. Hero, then to my left respectively: The Blond Chick, Rahilly, Bro, Brian, and The Fat Old Guy.

Bro raised 4xBB twice with nice starting hands, but when it folded all the way back around to Rahilly, he would push. Both times this happened, Rahilly and his father would run their mouths at my Bro and say smartass shit. I got pissed and told the dude running the tournament, that if he wanted to let Rahilly be disrespectful, so be it, but that it was totally unprofessional to allow a bystander interfere in the game. Rahilly’s dad was told to quiet down. Bro folded to the pressure both times. Both times they both showed their holdings. The first time Rahilly was really running his mouth. Bro folded and Rahilly turned over 53s and said that my bro should’ve had some balls. 2nd hand my Bro had AT and folded to the aggression. I would have called this because of the prior bluff and the past shit-talking. He didn’t really talk that much on this hand. Bro folded and turned his cards up; Rahilly showed AJ. Nice fold on his part.

My Bro’s stack was pretty bad due to the folds. Brian’s wasn’t all that good either.

The table folded around to the SB, who raised. I figured that he was stealing. From the BB I called his raise. I hit trips on the flop. He min-raised and I smooth-called. The turn brought something that he liked and he raised hard. I pushed. I think he realized that I had him beat but he pot-committed so he called with TP. He sees his fate and no help comes. He says, “nice hand, one hell-of-a comeback,” gets up and steps into the crowd.

Chip stacks: Rahilly, Blond, Hero, Brain, and Bro.

Bro pushes his short-stack. Table folds around to Rahilly, who calls and turns over total junk like 73s or something of the sort. The crowd chuckles as Rahilly pompously shrugs his shoulders. Bro turns over 2 paint-cards. Nothing hits, Bro doubles, and Rahilly looks foolish.

Then like 2 hands later I take a small pot from him. He calls my PF raise with crap I’m sure. I bets on the flop. I got a nice piece of the flop, middle-pr or the like. I stare at him and start thinking what to do here. I figure I have him. He starts to act all cocky and starts with the lip. I’m not going to act like I have great reading skill or anything, but his strong/weak-weak/strong act was obvious, as I have found is usually typical of Agro players. I raise pretty hard over the top of him. He shuts up and stares me down. I don’t even look at him; I just stare ahead. I had played the whole tourney this way. Actually I still play this way. I believe often the stare back will usually get you a call or raise. Ok, enough about my tells. He takes forever as I sweat inside. He folds and I muck facedown. I would have dropped, had he pushed.

Within the next few hands Rahilly gets mixed up in a hand with the Blond and she doubles off the tilting drunk.

Very next hand he pushes for what little he has left, Brian calls, and bye-bye dumbass. People were clapping as each final-tabler dropped. So soon as the river dropped I stood up and started sardonically clapping my hands really fast and loud. Some people gave me dirty looks for being an ass, but others smiled their sly smiles, liking to see the bully topple and go down. He gave me a dirty look and walked away from the table. When It quieted down I said loudy and meanly, “now maybe it will finally quiet down a little bit in here,” and took my seat again. I know it was a little dramatic but I wasn’t medicated back then. LOL. He went from chipleader and running the tables pace to benchwarmer within 10 min.

I this point the stacks are: Blond, Hero, Brian, Bro. Bro’s stack is small even with the resent double-up. The Blond’s stack is quite impressive. Brain and I are neck and neck.

Up to this point at the final table if I stayed in a hand after the flop I won it. I played very tight even at this point in the tourney. This is another testament to my inexperience. I just watched and waited. If I could see the flop from the BB for free, that is about far as I ventured at that point.

Very soon after it was down to 4 of us left my Bro had to make a move with a half-ass hand. I don’t remember who it was who knocked him out, other than I know it wasn’t me. I didn’t get mixed up in any hands with him at the final table. Once I folded AQs to him early on when him and Rahilly were slugging it out. Not collusion per se, just not wanting to fight with him. If he was in a hand I wasn’t that’s all.

And it was down to 3. I have more than Brian but not by a lot. The Blond has as much as us 2 put together or close.

We start playing the blind game. The only difference at this point is that both of them would call in the small blind. If I had nothing, I folded to SB. So basically I was only seeing a flop in the Big. If I was raised in the BB I dropped if I had nothing. I wasn’t defending on purpose sort of. I wanted to keep my tight image even at this stage. Amateurish I know.

They both start playing getting aggressive. There wasn’t a lot of unraised pots PF. The Blond Chick was honestly the least skilled at the table at the moment and likely the whole final table. She raised a lot during the final table and when called she hit a lot of hands. She was allin a few times and doubled up on the river. But I will give her one thing, she stayed aggressive. Brian took over the second place spot in chips. I was hoping for one of them to win a big fight but they just kept passing money back and forth while I dropped blinds. I know it sounds like this went on for a while but it wasn’t real long. And I did pick up some hands here and there and took them down with a raise. Basically I had the image that if I didn’t hit the flop I was dropping to any bet.

Then when the blinds go up to 5000/10,000 I changed gears. I was in the SB. Brian dropped. I raise to 20,000 from the SB. She folds her blind to me. I have nothing.

They fight next hand. I fold to Brian’s SB raise to 20,000.

I call the SB this time. She checks the option. I bet out with nothing. She folds.

They fight. I drop to his push.

I get QQ in SB. I limp. She makes 20,000. I raise it to 40,000. She stares at me for a min. She said, “I don’t know,” as she keeps looking in my eyes. “I believe you. I fold.” I show everyone my Q’s. I say to her, I don’t bluff.

I retake 2nd and am real close to 1st.

She wins a hand from Brian. He checks from the SB and I raise it to 20,00 with 1 paint card. He folds.

I am in the lead now.

I limp from the SB with 72o. She makes it 20,000. I push 30,000 more chips in real fast and stare straight ahead like the time before. She didn’t make me sweat long before she said that she would drop. She is waiting and expecting to see me turn over my cards. I start to muck when my Bro, from the other side of the table, yells, “what you have?” I pull my hand up about to show the bluff, and then think better of it. “72 off-suit,” I say with a broad smile. I get a round of laughter. I show it to some acquaintances and friends that have moved in behind me since the final table started, so that way I could talk about it later. She says that if I did, it was a good bet. This is back before I knew about or called 72o “The Hammer.”

I am now well in the lead.

She folds the SB for the first time to Brian. I double the big bet from the big with a decent hand. He folds. I raise from the SB and she folds. She pushes from the SB and Brian calls. His hand is slightly better than her holdings and she is out in 3rd. I think she gets $160 for her effort.

Heads-up. Last 2 places: 1st - $360 for sure, and 2nd is $220, if I recall is worth much. I am still in chip lead. From short stack at the start to big stack HU. 6000/12,000.

We started going back and forth. He always called the SB. I did most of the time. He started raising from the Small and the Big, often pushing. I fought back often when he didn’t push. I stole a few blinds. But mostly I stayed tight. He was definitely the aggressor. He started to catch-up in chips. He was buying a lot of pots. We both began calling the SB and not folding it anymore except to a push. The chips were almost even. He would usually drop to my aggression because of my image. But any weakness he would push at this point.

I am in the SB. I just call. He pushes and says, “Allin.” I quickly say, “ I call.” He stands up and turns over 66 on the table. The group of at least 75 people surrounding the table went into a frenzy. Thinking that it was time to go to the races with him in the lead and me right behind with overs. I was a dramatic dumbass. I shook my head all distraught as I stood up and then turned over my 99. The people behind me started pushing me and patting on my shoulders, seeing that I had trapped him and that he was a 4 to 1 dog. We shake hands.

The dealer turns over Blank, Blank, Q.

Then another Q.

Then as I held my breath a 9 drops on the river and I fill up.

Cheers and hand shacks for minutes after. Then they present me with a check and a trophy and take my picture for the wall or a scrap book.

Boy I love that trophy.

If I could go back and change one thing about this tournament, it would be to show that awesome bluff. I’ve actually dreamed about showing that hand.

Baby Steps

I played for 2 hrs or so last night on Px at the $25 tables. I ended the session up over a buyin. It felt good to hit a win. I buckled down and played solid poker for a change. It wasn’t just variance; I was actually making solid plays. Not to say that variance couldn’t have slapped me around and even though playing well still ending down. My reads weren’t always right, but hey, they never were. I hope that this is the start of my comeback. I need to just focus and play my game. Even if I lose a few sessions I need to maintain my composure and right it through.

Other than playing with the Fam on UB, I plan on spending all my time on Px. Nothing like no rake.

Inward Thinking

Talking with my dad last night after work really helped me think and focus. And hopefully improve my current game and play standard. It helps to regularly analyze the way you are playing, skill level, and what is presently motivating you to play a particular way. I have gotten away from doing that. And nothing helps better than another perspective. It is a proven fact that we have a hard time being candid with ourselves, especially about faults and thus askewing self-concept. I started telling about some of the mistakes that I am making. The bad plays that are keeping me from making the money that I should be making. Just throwing away money from my bottomline on frivolous mistakes. When I told him about the QQ re-reraise allin, he knew something was amiss. I think he was spot-on with his conclusion. I am playing the catch-up game, wanting to win my bankroll back quickly, instead of the natural slow progression that got me that original roll in the first place. Making the dumb calls and questionable big bluffs. (The over-bluff, that is total over-kill, and likey is the whole reason that the guy calls in the first place. You know the kind; it sends out the BS vibe strongly.) The QQ allin against aggression is level 1 poker at best. Unless you have a read, IMO, never re-reraise or bet a large portion with Q’s, AK, or lower when the other guy is showing that he wants to rock. You’re likely a 4:1 dog in the hand or lower. Just take the hint and wait for a better position. If you got bluffed so be it.

Now that we have discussed it, I feel that his assessment is likely the crux of my current bad play issues. I want my roll back to the point of near desperation. Converse to the scared money syndrome, in catch-up mode, you are over-willing to get your chips in the middle. Even with marginal holdings, hoping for the big paydays that will rapidly increase the almighty roll. Though both hamper your bankroll building efforts, catch-up is more detrimental to your roll and overall natural game/skill progression, due to the negative self-esteem/reliance issues associated with big swings and big losses. Negative thoughts about your play and skills isn’t good for anything. When you are relaxed and confident in your game, that is when you are using your skills to their utmost; that is when a winning player will make money in the long-term. I know I am a winning player, with a large enough sample timeframe this year to prove it. I just have to get back on track and play my game. Ok, enough with the self-motivation therapy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Fresh Look

I have a new blog scheme, as you can see. I figured I try the new bata version. My blog will be a work in progress for awhile. I will get back my sidebar back to where it was, plus more.

Dropped a Buyin Again or Need To Re-think

I played some after work last night. 3 tabling at UB and also playing 1 at Px. I end down a buyin for the session. It was mostly my fault. I could of ended even for the night if I changed one bad play. And it was bad. Oh yea, I was up on the penny table again.

I have QQ. Evildoer raises PF. I reraise like I should, IMO. He ups it some more. I push. That is the mistake. If you are reraised PF with Q’s, you have gotten the info that you need to fold. The only push hand here is AA or KK, IMO. But I played it horribly. He completes the ping-pong game and calls. Yes, the AA the he represented the whole time is what he turns over and there goes a buyin. I deserved it. I am playing at the $25NL tables and making the plays one would expect from someone at the Penny tables.

I work hard while playing with the Fam on the Penny tab. I get my buyin back on some nice plays and good cards with callers. Then the dreaded buyin slapper again. This time it was also my fault. Not as bad a play, yet not a play I should be making without thinking of what could beat me. I am in the SB with K2 spades. Flop comes Qs6s5d. I call a small raise and a 7 of spades flushes me. I call a small raise again. The river comes a 6d. He raises $6. I push for $15 more. He calls and turns over 55 for the ass-hurting boat. All that work down the drain because I try to value-bet the river. OK, here’s my after-the-fact analysis: Sadly I pretty much considered my hand the nuts. The only hand I was even halfway worried about was the nut flush. Here are the hands that I should have been thinking of: Ax spades, 55, 66, 77, QQ, 65, 76, and Q6. Yes my hand was strong, but with 8 hands that beat me, I wasn’t value-betting, he was. I should have definitely called, but that is all my hand warranted – a call. I got greedy and it cost me. Hopefully the next time I think the situation through and make the proper decision. Not to say that I know that I’m beat, just that I should only call here.

I am going to start playing $10NL on UB until I make some cash for my eggroll. I don’t know about Px. I have over $100 there. I don’t know. I think with the no rake, I will play 1 $25 buyin and if I lose it, I will drop down and play the $10 game there also.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My First Live Tourney - Part 1: The Beginning

2005 Newberry Elks Holdem Tournament – 4/16/05

I found my notes so I figured that I would pass it on to my fellow bloggers. Now that I have read HOH Vol. 1 and half of Vol.2, I would have played it differently. Of course I wouldn’t likely have done as well if I would have played it differently. I can tell how much I have grown just by some of the things in my old notes. I didn’t know a lot of the slang and some of the slang that I did write was out of context. Plus once I just limped PF with less than 2 BB’s.

63 entrants. $50 buyin. 15 or so places paid out. Top 5 paid most of the prize pool, then it drastically dropped off, with the last 10 places not even paying half the buyin. Top prize was $360 and a trophy. Not much of a payday for the buyin, but it was a Little League fundraiser. I don’t remember what the starting stack was. Each round was 20 min. 100/200 starting blinds. You could only raise a SB PF and on the flop. On the turn and river you could bet double. Plus they started with 7 at each table. Just a nutty set-up all around. Weird set-up due to the inexperience of a lot of the players. Some of the entrants were Elks club patrons with little or no experience. There were also some players with as much experience as me, or more. [My experience level: At this point I had put in a year or so playing online poker and most of this time being at Free Money. I was probably at the Penny tables or possibly at the $5NL stakes at this point in my poker career. The only poker book so far would have been Phil’s 1st book.] Level 1 – 3 would be limit, to allow the inexperienced to get in some quality time at the table. Starting the 2nd hr and at level 4 and on would be NL.

My Bro, his wife, and I all played in the tourney. They also played online as long as me. Most of the other players at the tourney were the big names in town. (You know the kind.) The Preppies from school that think they are better than everyone. The people that walk around with their noses in the air and would return a wave if their live depended upon it.

I didn’t have many hands the 1st hr. Pocket 8’s once, 2 pr once, and pocket T’s once. I might have seen 5 hands to showdown in that 1st hr. I played very tight due to my inexperience at limit and the fact that people wouldn’t drop to a raise. My stack was small at the start of level 4. Quick recap of the 3 key hands from the 1st hr.

2 callers of my PF raise with my 88. I bet the flop. The lady stayed and the guy dropped. She was a loose calling-station. It was her 1st time playing and she saw every flop and then called down most hands. She hit some lucky rivers and was up. I bet the full amount on the turn and she folded. I got some much needed chips. This was in level 2 or 3; I think it was 3.

I get A4 in the blinds. Flop brings me 2 pr. Guy bet and I put him allin. He calls and turns over QQ that he didn’t raise PF with. I don’t know if this guy is good enough to even try a slowplay. (Not that it is a good idea with QQ, playing NL or limit.) The runner-runner puts 2 more diamonds on the board, which matches the guy’s Q, and I am almost out.

This is still level 3 and just a few hands later. I get TT in the hole. There really should have been no thinking here with the stack that I had. I should have just pushed with my small-stack. But hey, I was a rook, who thought that would never have folded Big Slick PF, no matter ring or tourney. (OK, maybe sometimes.) I just limped from early position. Someone raised 300. Then the QQ Guy reraises 300 more. I think ok this guy just limped with QQ, he must be really packing now. I drop. Flop comes T77 and my heart sinks and I die inside. I would’ve tripled up. What a sap.

Break comes and I am hurting. Due to being card dead, crazy high blinds, short tables, and limit structure, I have a small stack at the end of level 3. The blinds are now 400/800. I have 1300 in chips. Slightly more than 3xBB. I’m sweating the whole 20 min. break. I walk around to see how the Fam is faring. Bro was one of the current chipleaders if not the leader. Sis is middle of the pack. And you already see that I am one of the small-stacks.

I start in the SB. I have shit. I fold and decide that all of my chips are going in at some point in the next cycle. I have 5 or 6 looks before the Big gets to me. No paint at all, so I keep holding out. Finally UTG I find 55. I limp hoping for a few callers so I can more than double. This is totally stupid, but I was pretty green. Flop comes 8-high. I push. 2 callers and while I wait to see my fate, they raise the side pot up every street. Showdown one guy turns over AT and the other KT, to which neither paired the board. I more than triple-up. I have around 4000 in chips.

People start dropping like flies in the tourney. They consolidate my table and put me right to the left of my bro. He is sitting on 40,000 in chips and I am milking out my 4000 or so.

Soon I look down at AA from UTG. I need some chips so I decide to just min-raise. I think I get a caller or 2 before my Bro in the Big. He reraises. I pretend to give it some thought, then reluctantly push, hoping for a few calls. All fold back around to my Bro, who says, “Sorry but I have to call. I have AK.” I say, “I’m sorry too, ‘cause I have bullets.” I have him dominated and my stack ends up at around 10,000.

They put it down to 3 tables with 18 left. 6 at a table. This structure truly sucks for my conservative style. The short tables are killing me, with the blinds eating me alive. Bro, Sis, and I are all still in. I was playing tight because it was bubble time, with the $24 payout starting at the 15th spot. I really should have loosened up at this point, but this is another account of my inexperience. Then they quickly consolidated again down to 2 with everyone in the money. Sis went out on the bubble. Bro still faring well.

The blinds were at 1000/2000. I blinded down big-time because I was card dead. I mean totally dead. Plus there were only 5 people at my table. I was UTG with 3000 in chips and about to be put to the decision. It was about to hit the 2 hr mark when someone at the other table dropped. They called break and moved 9 people to the Final Table in the center of the room. The blinds go up to 1500/3000. Lots of claps from the spectators as everyone sat down at the final table.

I sit down at the final table in the BB with 3000 in chips. The blinds at 1500/3000.

Next - The Final Table.

One Bad Read is All it Takes or Boooo

I ended slightly down again at the end of this session. Hopefully this isn’t a trend that keeps up. Soon as I hit crunch-time I start losing. I am playing solid poker so this is just variance. Soon as I need some wins, Lady Variance starts slapping me around. At least they have been small losses so far. Now it’s time for a nice 3 buyin session.

I did some 4 tabling the other night. I played 3 $25NL tables and with the Fam on a Penny tab.

I held my own on the Penny table. I was up and down, yet ended up at the close. (At the Penny table that is.) I called a guy with TPTK and the other guy had 2 pr. Ouch. I ended up getting it back from the same guy later in the session. My Sis plays a lot tighter than her husband JV. (The crazy reckless Italian.) He is even getting better, lol.

I loaned out $70 more of my online roll. I hope to get $50 of it paid back online. I hope so. The other I always get paid offline.

I ground out a nice little margin then this hand knocked me down for the night. 1 hand and all that hard work for naught.

1 hand of note: I lost a buyin on this one. Of course it had to be on the $25 tab. I raise PF with JJ. I get 2 callers. Flop comes 22Q. I raise and get reraised. The between guy drops and I push hoping to knock out the other player. He was a real agro player. He looked at most flops and usually bet the flops, even showing down marginal holdings. I felt justified in my move. He turned over 24o, which he called my 4xBB PF raise with. Boo, I say. But hey it paid off for him. I don’t know how I feel about my move. With the guy being agro he could have been holding anything so I have to say in retrospect, that my call truly sucked. With that board, if he hit either card, I am beat. I probably fold here to anyone else.

Up and Down or Dropping a Little Ain't Too Bad If You Are Playing Solid

I had 1 big hand that I made a bad read. I had AQs. I hit TPTK on the flop. I raise and he pushes. I call and he turns over a slow-played KK. I guess it wasn't a real bad read. But if I would have raised PF, he likey would have reraised me right there and I could have gotten away from my hand.

The next hand I was kinda’ pot-committed, so I don't really feel bad about that asswhippin'. I raised PR with AA. I get 2 callers. 9-high flop. I bet pot. Next guy raises. The next guy pushes. I figured that I might be behind here. Likely the other guy will call also. So it was going to cost me like $8 to make $65 or so. I call and the other guy does also. He turns over QQ. The pusher shows a set of 9's. I lose the pot and a buyin.

I was really happy with my play even though I ended down slightly. I made some really nice reads throughout the session and took down a lot of pots where I was surely behind. At least when I have lost lately it has only been for small losses.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Prohibition II: Good Grief

By George F. Will
Oct. 23, 2006 issue - Perhaps Prohibition II is being launched because Prohibition I worked so well at getting rid of gin. Or maybe the point is to reassure social conservatives that Republicans remain resolved to purify Americans' behavior. Incorrigible cynics will say Prohibition II is being undertaken because someone stands to make money from interfering with other people making money.

For whatever reason, last Friday the president signed into law Prohibition II. You almost have to admire the government's plucky refusal to heed history's warnings about the probable futility of this adventure. This time the government is prohibiting Internet gambling by making it illegal for banks or credit-card companies to process payments to online gambling operations on a list the government will prepare.

Last year about 12 million Americans wagered $6 billion online. But after Congress, 32 minutes before adjourning, passed its ban, the stock of the largest online-gambling business, Gibraltar-based PartyGaming, which gets 85 percent of its $1 billion annual revenue from Americans, declined 58 percent in one day, wiping out about $5 billion in market value. The stock of a British company, World Gaming PLC, which gets about 95 percent of its revenue from Americans, plunged 88 percent. The industry, which has some 2,300 Web sites and did half of its business last year with Americans, has lost $8 billion in market value because of the new law. And you thought the 109th Congress did not accomplish anything.

Supporters of the new law say it merely strengthens enforcement; they claim that Internet gambling is illegal under the Wire Act enacted in 1961, before Al Gore, who was then 13, had invented the Internet. But not all courts agree. Supporters of the new law say online gambling sends billions of dollars overseas. But the way to keep the money here is to decriminalize the activity.

The number of online American gamblers, although just one sixth the number of Americans who visit real casinos annually, doubled in the last year. This competition alarms the nation's biggest gambling interests—state governments.

It is an iron law: When government uses laws, tariffs and regulations to restrict the choices of Americans, ostensibly for their own good, someone is going to make money from the paternalism. One of the big winners from the government's action against online gambling will be the state governments that are America's most relentless promoters of gambling. Forty-eight states (all but Hawaii and Utah) have some form of legalized gambling. Forty-two states have lottery monopolies. Thirty-four states rake in part of the take from casino gambling, slot machines or video poker.

The new law actually legalizes online betting on horse racing, Internet state lotteries and some fantasy sports. The horse-racing industry is a powerful interest. The solidarity of the political class prevents the federal officials from interfering with state officials' lucrative gambling. And woe unto the politicians who get between a sports fan and his fun.

In the private sector, where realism prevails, casino operators are not hot for criminalizing Internet gambling. This is so for two reasons: It is not in their interest for government to wax censorious. And online gambling might whet the appetites of millions for the real casino experience.

Granted, some people gamble too much. And some people eat too many cheeseburgers. But who wants to live in a society that protects the weak-willed by criminalizing cheeseburgers? Besides, the problems—frequently exaggerated—of criminal involvement in gambling, and of underage and addictive gamblers, can be best dealt with by legalization and regulation utilizing new software solutions. Furthermore, taxation of online poker and other gambling could generate billions for governments.

Prohibition I was a porous wall between Americans and their martinis, giving rise to bad gin supplied by bad people. Prohibition II will provoke imaginative evasions as the market supplies what gamblers will demand—payment methods beyond the reach of Congress.

But governments and sundry busybodies seem affronted by the Internet, as they are by any unregulated sphere of life. The speech police are itching to bring bloggers under campaign-finance laws that control the quantity, content and timing of political discourse. And now, by banning a particular behavior—the entertainment some people choose, using their own money—government has advanced its mother-hen agenda of putting a saddle and bridle on the Internet.

Gambling is, however, as American as the Gold Rush or, for that matter, Wall Street. George Washington deplored the rampant gambling at Valley Forge, but lotteries helped fund his army as well as Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth. And Washington endorsed the lottery that helped fund construction of the city that now bears his name, and from which has come a stern—but interestingly selective—disapproval of gambling.

The Last Few Days

I have a starting bankroll of $230. Lets see what I can do with it. I don't know if I will post my actual roll or not. I will have to think about it. I am a little concerned with this new legislation. I would have to post my earnings and end up getting pimped on the exact amount due just to my blog. I don't know. What are your thoughts on gambling now?

I have $130 on UB and $100 on Px. I will try to play Px for the most part due to the no rake. No rake makes baby rolls happy. Too bad I already had an account at UB or I could have a 30% rakeback from them also. I do get rakeback from FT, but I don't play there often. The Gnomes aggravate me. I will play $25NL for a while and see how it goes. A little above my roll, but I think I can nurse it and make it grow from here.

14th - I lost a little. I was playing with only $30 at that time. (Before by bro owned up.) I was 3 tabling at the $10NL.

15th - I was up a little for the session. I am reading well. Making some plays here and there, but mostly tight is my current game.

16th - Up again this session. Man playing at these stakes is different. I honestly feel that I am the best guy at the table. Which is weird. I know that sounds pompous, but I do. I think I finally understand what people are talking about when they speak of the Levels of Poker Thinking. I wish I felt this way at the $200NL tables.

17th - I put in about 4 hrs this morning on UB at $25NL. Here's a few hands. It really was a good session even though I end down a few bucks. I had a few bad hands that hurt. 2 big hands are all that I really lost. I dropped $45 on those 2 monsters. Good thing I was up a goodly bit or they really would have hurt. Other than those 2 hands I was rocking at 3 tables at once and hand the feel on all 3. I was also up on all. When I missed my hand, I still was often able to take it down anyway. I always show my bluffs or semi-bluffs. It often gets me action the next few cycles.

This was a cool series of events. I raise PF with JJ. This guy to my left has $4 at the table and reraises me. Folds back around to me. I push for his last $3 and he calls with Big Slick. River brings the A. He now owns $9; half of which is mine.

3 hands later I'm in the Small with ATo. 1 limper as it comes around to us and we complete. Flop - JJA. I lead out with a pot bet. Lefty smooth-calls and the limper drops. Turn brings my huckleberry. Ace. I bet and he pushes. I call with my nut-boat. No J on the river. He turns over J2o. I get all my money back, plus his. He rebuys.

That's the only time we hooked up this session. He was pissed because every time I stayed he did also. He was hoping to hit a monster so he could get a little redemption.

Cedarville at Newberry - Game 2

Cedarville 14 – Newberry 8

It was raining hard the whole game. The wind and cold were all that bad, but the rain was aggravating as hell. I was still happy with the turnout for the game. A lot of people braved the weather to support our boys. The first 3 quarters were a defensive fight on the Grid Iron, with neither team giving an inch. 0-0 through the first 3 quarters. Defensive play from both sides was excellent. Our running game was stuffed for the most part. We kept trying sweeps and keepers, but their ends played contain well, not letting us to the outside. We contained well also. We also held them from running up the middle. They didn’t complete even one pass all night against our D. That is normally their game. We practiced all week, using their pass plays as our model. We kept our outside line backers containing the run, but rushing when they saw the QB stepping back for the pass. This worked nicely, with one of our boys making 2 sacks while their QB held the ball a little too while waiting for his receiver to get down field. Also they had probably 5 fumbles in the game right after the snap. The ball was wet and they weren’t dealing with it well. Ash-boy split the offense once smacking the ball down for a fumble right at the snap, but the QB pounced on it and recovered. All in all, not a bad offensive effort from both teams, it was just that the D’s were ready to rock. The rain did obviously cause some of the offensive stagnation.

OK, now is where I get pissed. If you have been reading the football summaries, you know that we always play our 2nd string the last quarter no matter what. Most of the time, the other team does also. Because of the Brimley issue from the prior week, our Head Coach went over before the game and discussed this with Cedarville’s Coach. He agreed that the 4th was for the second squads. But get ready for this unsportsmanlike shit. Cedarville has thus far gone undefeated this season, and apparently planned on keeping that way no matter what.

We pulled our 1st string out but they kept theirs in. Within 3 plays they scored a TD on our smaller group of kids. Then they had the nerve to put in their 2nd string once they were up on the board. Our guys made a slow and steady drive all the way down the field. 1st down after another. A few times we had to go on 4th down, and pulled out the 1st down. When we got a 1st down on the 15yrd line, they called timeout. They then put their 1st squad back in the game. They stuffed our first 2 rushes. 3rd down we moved switched our back and wide receiver. The kid is fast and can catch well. We threw a pass into the left corner of the end zone and he reached out long and caught it for the TD. The crowd screamed and shook their rattlers. We then ran through the 3-hole for the 2 point conversion and equalizer. Our 2nd string scored on their big boys. The crowd cheered again. 1 min left. Of course they still have their top kids in the game. They run all over our D again and in a few plays score again. They used a reverse on the boys and drew them inside, thus sweeping back around and sprinting down the right sideline for their second “1st string” TD of the 4th. There was 17 sec left. We got 2 plays in and then it was over.

I went over and helped give the boys a pep-talk to try to raise their spirits. We told them that they were a winning team and that they played fair. And that everyone played every game no matter what. It really was a good season and a good group of kids.

This is the 5th and 6th grade kids, so it is more about teaching them the fundamentals of the game and less about winning every game. Don’t get me wrong; I want to win as much as the next guy, but I have ethics. Ok, I guess they have ethics also; they just have bad ones. How do you teach your kids morals if you have none. When these kids get farther in their football careers the 2nd stringers will have enough time to sit the bench the whole game and be tackling dummies in practice for the 1st stringers. I don’t mind our boys losing so much as the way it happened. If you say you are going to play your 2nd string, that’s what you do. We are the only team that gave them any comp this year, and they were going to do what they had to win. Sad really. Bad sports all around. I had to restrain myself from snapping. I did scream one time, “Good job Cedarville 1st string!” People started shying away a little so I calmed down and just berated their sportsmanship quietly to a few select parents. It was the coaches' fault, not the kids'.

Newberry Season 3 – 2 – 1.
VS Rudyard 2 wins.
Vs Brimley 1 win - 1 tie.
Vs Cedarville 2 losses.

These little 5th and 6th graders are the only winning team in Newberry Football this year. So maybe this portents well for the future high school team.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Brimley at Newberry - Game 2

Brimley 6 - Newberry 14

The boys played a great game. The played the first half perfect offensively and defensively.

1st quarter we make them punt. Then we make a long drive down to the 3yd line. Ash-boy opens a highway and we rush in for a TD. Extra 2 good. 8 zip. We continue to play tough D and end the 1st quarter 0-8 Hometeam.

Ash-boy making a block.

Next quarter was hard fought by both squads. But we had one breakaway play that put more points on the board. We made it to about the 50yd line. We end up having to punt. They got it on around the 30 or so. We slapped them around for 3 downs them back to about the 20yrd line. They punt; it doesn't go far. Ash-boy reaches back over his shoulder and tries to catch the arrant kick. He bobbles it and tips it back onto the ground. (Man only if he would have caught it. That was the first thing he talked about after the game. It's not often the linesman get their hands on the pigskin.) The big kid #58, who was the kicker plowed through and came sliding on his belly, arms flailing towards the ball. He hits the ball and knocks it back into the hands of one of the intended receiver's hands. He starts running to the left with Ash-boy plowing a path out in front. They went down the left sideline for the TD, with ash-boy making 3 blocks along the way, being an impenetrable wall of shoulders and stiff-arms. (I was beaming with pride. It was a sight to behold. Maybe his best play of the season.) We get stuffed on a sweep attempt and fail to make the 2. 0-14 Hometeam.

The the 3rd quarter was uneventful. The coach pulled 1st squad off for the final quarter. But Brimley were bad sports and left there 1st string in. They dominated our 2nd string. On their first drive they scored. But our boys held them back on the 2 point conversion. 6-14 Hometeam. Coach true to him word, kept the boys in the game. Offense they made a valiant effort, yet to no avail. We punt, leaving them with a long field and a little clock. (Not real little.) They start a strong drive, rushing to 1st down after 1st down. They started using up their timeouts to stop the waning clock. They are at about the 30. They make a sweep down the right side and we finally stop them at about the 15yd line. They are out of time and timeouts. Last play - they try a pass into the end zone. No good and we win.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Bros or Ha Ha, The Bros

I really have been busy lately everyone, or is it every “one.” I’m sorry for the lax posting issues. Though I won’t lie and say that I will remedy it too soon. I hope to start playing a little more.

I did play a little poker lately. I played with my bros-in-law at the $2NL tables on UB the other night. I played “feel” poker. The guys at these stakes were fairly easy reads. They usually bet their hands without many tricks. The occasional check-raise and the like, but mostly just level 1 game. It was kind’a cool to play there. I could sense when the bettor was scared of his holdings and reraise him. I knew when to get out. Don’t try to bluff too often at these stakes, that is a given. Also lots of call-stations, which is nice.

I won about $7 in a few hrs. Most of these winnings were actually from both of my bros. Though I try not to get involved in hands with them, sometimes it is unavoidable.

My one bro (the experienced one) pushed from EP, which is unlike him no matter his holdings, plus a way over-bet at the table. I know him well and this is always a bluff. I figured him for mid-suited-connectors. I call with KQ. (You know I would call no one else with this hand, but I know he holds shit.) I call with my $2 or so and was actually surprised to see him turn over 32o. (OK, not too surprised!) My cards hold and I double-thru.

My other gave me about $4 with his bad plays. This bro (the Italian vooming booming bamming slamming gambling bro) has never seen a bet, wager, or possibility that he didn’t like. He will bet on anything, not just poker, including but not limited to: sports, poker, pool, weather, ect., ect. He has always played cards – Dealer’s choice mainly, just not hold’em, until lately. I have favorite one-liners, strategies, and advice from him that make me roll around laughing when we play home tourneys. Here’s a few: “You guys go ahead and keep playing the odds, I play the cards.” “I felt that one coming.” “I like to see a flop with that hand.” “34 is a good hand; you hit a lot of flops with those cards.” He always likes to pick the next card. And when he finally guesses right, he always forgets all the times he missed, and brags about his skills. And every time he wins with shit, he says that’s why he likes to see a flop with that hand and feels justified and validated in playing the junk. He sees every flop and will even call 3xBB just to see if he hits. If he gets 2nd pr, he will usually go all the way and likely be the one pushing. With TP shit kicker he will raise, raise, raise. He is very aggressive. He usually will chase all draws. There is no subtlety to his game. He really makes me laugh because of his play and overall philosophy. I like to play with him for the comedic value alone. Guaranteed the chatbox will be littered with: WTF’s, huh’s, and ???’s all night long. I have seen him CALL the river-bet with Q-high and say, “damn, I thought I had him.” But he does get paid off sometimes. (Playing every hand you have to hit sometimes.) I tried to give him advice over and over, even offering to loan my poker books, but he tells me, “he has his own system and people put too much stake in all that junk. You just have to play the cards, they will tell you what to do.” Not too hard to guess how I won the $4 aye. I just waited for a hand PF and bet what I figured he’d call with anything and then just kept betting the hand. He would show down 2nd pr or a draw. Once he did have TP shit kicker and I was on a draw and sucked out on the river. Not really a suckout, due to him giving me the odds, but it felt the same.


Now the big news and the reason that I will likely start playing some poker again. I had to take almost all of my bankroll. I have around $50 online now. I don’t know exactly how much because it is in a few different spots, but $50 is close. I let my bro borrow $200, so when he pays me back, if he does online I will have $250 or so. I will use a half-ass bankroll management style from here on out. I have $30 on UB, so really I should be playing $2NL for awhile, but I think I will step it up a little. I am better than that game. I was crushing the $50 and $100 tables for months now. I did it once I can do it again. Shit in Feb of this year my bankroll was at $180, which was the highest it had ever been. Since then you have watched me get up to $4800. I have now robbed $4500 in the last few months, due to the curveballs that life throws your way, but hey, at least I had this stash to make it thru the change-up and rough times. Now it is time for me to start again. The new me, take-two. Wish me luck and off we go.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Newberry at Rudyard - Game 2

Ash-boy blocking-out on offense.

Newberry at Rudyard

36 Newberry – 8 Rudyard

First half was a nail-biter. The kids were hitting hard the whole game. It was dirty sportsmanship back and forth for the first little while. It got better, but never truly stopped. They were pushing, shoving while getting up, late hitting and gang-tackling at ever opportunity The kids truly hate each other. These kids will be playing against each other their whole jr high and high school years. So hopefully it gets better or we are looking at some knockout dragout games in the years to come.

Rudyard made strong drive using a lot of clock on their first possession. We had some kind of error on D and their runningback blew up through the middle for a huge rush from mid-field down left side to about the 1-yard line. Our left corner came from the right side of the field and angled the play and ran down the rusher. (I know it sounds all messed up, but basically the cross-field corner ran all the way across the field, never gave up hope, and dove and grabbed the rusher’s foot, thus tripping him at the 1.) This was the little guy I was talking about from last week’s game that was just too short to match-up against Cedarville’s receiver. We pushed them back every play until they were on their 4th down. They were about 4th down 8 and goal. They threw a pass just beyond the goal line for the TD. They went on and made the 2-point conversion.

Newberry 0 – Rudyard 8

Our first play with the ball they stopped our QB for a slight loss. And after the whistle the defender jumped bodily on the QB again and punched him while getting off of him. The 1st string QB rolled around on the field for a few min crying while the coaches coddled him and were finally successful at getting him up. He had to sit out for a few plays until he got his wind back. The Ref didn’t call the un-sportsmanlike behavior. We then made a long drive down to their 2-yard line or so, lasting into the start of the 2nd quarter. It was 4rd and goal. One of our big guys and team captain named Marcus (not Ash-boy) blatantly kicked a player after the play. We got called for a 15-yard penalty, making it 4th and 17 to go. We turned the ball over on downs.

Next possession we stopped their drive and got the ball back. We made it to their 35-yard line with 18 seconds left in the half. We decided to go for a pass play. The QB sweeps to the right. The offensive line keep the defenders back giving the QB time to work, but Rudyard was ready for the pass and he didn’t have anyone open to throw to. So he tucks the ball and starts running towards the End Zone. The line and backs make some great blocks and the QB zigs, zags, spins, and stiff-arms his way to the End Zone. Cheers from our section. It was a super play on everyone’s part. A busted play that turned into a TD. Kind’a like a big blind special. (Hey I wrote something about poker in my Poker blog.) Ash-boy helped open a 1-hole and the 2-point conversion turns into the equalizer. Half Time.

Half Time Newberry 8 – Ruyard 8.
Early in the 3rd our little corner that could intercepts a wobbly pass and runs it 40 yards into the End Zone. We make the 2-point conversion.

We stuff their next drive no giving up but one 1st down. The coach goes ahead and sits all the starters and puts in the 2nd string. The other coach is pissed, because usually teams wait for the 4th quarter for scrub-time, but complies and takes out his big guys also. We go down and score and make the 2 again also.

On the Kickoff the opposing player picks up the ball and it is bobbling it around in his arms not quite in control when our guy smacks into him from the front. The kicker (Marcus. Not only does he kick kids he also is our kicker) and 2nd guy down the field picks up the fumbled ball and goes in for a TD. But wait, they call it back. The Ref says that there is some crazy-ass rule where on Special Teams there isn’t allowed any advancement on a turnover. What rulebook he reads from, I don’t know. But whatever. They take the points away but we get the ball on the 30 or so. We put together some nice plays and score again. We fail to make the 2 point conversion and the score stands at 30 to 8.

Defense plays well again and offense takes over on downs. We then top the score off on our last drive of the game and make another TD. No 2-point C again.

Final score Newberry 36 – Rudyard 8.

Ash-boy stopping the rush.

Ash-boy once again played excellent offensively and on defense. He along with the other linesman played a great game, opening huge holes for the backs and protecting the QB with a giant blocking wall. Ash-boy did quite well against that big kid #58 on this meeting. Bigboy only got past he twice all game, and even I can’t ask anymore out of him than that. On offense he was formidable. He was opening holes and then was taking out a linebacker consistently. I was glowing with pride.

The Newberry boys’ record 2 – 1 – 1. Newberry 2 - Rudyard 0

Next 2 games will tell the tale. Cedar is still undefeated. Brimley we tied and play on Monday. Now that I think about it our kids hate all these teams’ players. Side note: Our Head Coach wasn’t at the last Brimley game and wasn’t at practice all week before the Cedarville game. So I have high hopes when next we meet these teams because our Head Coach knows his shit. This is the youngest of the school Football programs and is the only Newberry team with a winning record. The coach emphasized this point to the boys the end of Friday’s practice. He told them that the home team stands would be packed and they had to perform for home crowd that is coming to support their Newberry team. The kids had a look of pride and steely determination imbued in their eyes as the huddled together and then raised their arms in unison to the shout of Indians, Indians, Indians. Boy I love reliving my childhood through my kids’ actions.

Till Brimley, good luck, and though I’ve been horribly busy lately, maybe we’ll meet at the tables.