Monday, May 31, 2010

Blogger Battle Royale, and other updates

I have been away for about ten days so I am doing some catching up. Let me first say congratulations to the WSOP Main Event seat winners of the BBT5 Tournament of Champions: jjok, NYRambler, and Adam27X. Good luck in the big show!

On June 6, the final BBT event of the year will be held, the Blogger Battle Royale freeroll. To get an entry, the Official BBT Badge is to be displayed on one's blog, so here you go:

Battle of the Bloggers
Play Online Poker with poker's top bloggers

Brought to you by online poker room Full Tilt Poker

Although I only ended up playing in one BBT event this year, I have been trying to follow along to see how my fellow bloggers have been doing. I look forward to playing in the freeroll on Sunday and winning myself a birthday gift of the $2,000 WSOP package.

My absence has been due to a cruise that my wife, son, mother, and I took to Alaska. We had a great time and enjoyed unusually nice weather for mid-May, at least according to the residents of the cities we visited. No rain, and warm temperatures the whole time.

The cruise ship had a poker table, where they spread $1-2 NLHE when the casino was open, and also had a few tournaments. I never got into any of the tournaments; they weren't well publicized and I either didn't hear about them until after they had finished, or I signed up too late and the tourney was full. However, I did get a fair amount of cash play in. Most of the players fell into one of two categories: tight-passive or inexperienced. There was one older gent who was rather aggressive and tended to overbet to protect his hand. When I picked up on his pattern (which took about three hands), I looked for a chance to take advantage of it. That chance came late in the cruise.

I joined the game with a nearly full table and sat in the seat directly to Older Gent's left. A few hands in, he shoved in early position for about $45. I looked down at two red Kings and called. I had him covered. Everyone else folded. He turned up AQ of hearts. A King came on the flop, which was a big help to me since the turn and river were A-Q. There was no flush or straight, and I took a nice pot, my biggest of the trip. At the end of the vacation, I came home ahead, which was a nice feeling.

Now, it's back to the daily grind of the day job and the occasional online and bar league poker play. See you at the virtual tables.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

BBT5 update, and is it time to cash out?

I played in the first Mookie tournament of the BBT5 a couple of weeks ago. I cashed, but only high enough to get my buy-in back plus $1.10. Nevertheless, it felt good to go deep in a tourney with some stiff competition.

Speaking of which, it also felt good to play in the same game as people who know what they are doing. I have played in so many donkfests lately that it was a welcome surprise to see players actually fold to a raise instead of calling to the river with junk hands that anyone who has a clue would have mucked preflop. I also enjoyed seeing some familiar names at my table. It reminded me of the good old days when we all played together because it was fun, and not because there were high-dollar prizes at stake. (Not that I have anything against high-dollar prizes, mind you.)

All that said, I'm not sure how many more BBT5 tourneys I will end up playing, if any. The start times for the non-invitational games are on the late side for me because of my early work start time. I also don't have a large enough bankroll to play in them regularly. I got into a couple of FPP token-prize tourneys to try to win a token towards the Monday night BBT game, but those didn't work out. I will keep plugging away in various tournaments and ring games and perhaps I will win enough to feel comfortable buying into another BBT event or two in the next couple of weeks.

But this leads to my next topic of discussion: with the UIGEA supposedly taking effect as of June 1, how hard will it be to withdraw any money that I have on the poker sites? Suppose I score a big win and want to get some or all of the cash instead of leaving it in my online poker site account? I will admit that I haven't thoroughly searched the Net for a lot of detail on what is expected to happen. Maybe withdrawals will be no more difficult than they are today, although I hear that they can be a hassle at some sites. I have the feeling that making deposits will be much harder, maybe nearly impossible, once the UIGEA starts being enforced. But do I want to leave my money on line, knowing that I may have a hell of a time getting it back some day? Do I want to bother putting in the time and effort to win a big tournament, not knowing if I will ever get to benefit from it? I would love to hear others' thoughts on this subject. Have you changed the way you play, or where you play, or cashed out some or all of your online stakes?

I don't have any life-changing or bill-paying money tied up in poker sites. Maybe I will just keep playing with it as a form of entertainment, knowing that I may never see a profit from it. But I might want to get some of it out, if only so I can set it aside for use at a live, legal cardroom somewhere.

Your comments are welcome.