The Cards Spoke

After 5 years of silence, I'm back! Check out the new poker blog.



We're going to California... and Texas... and New York!

I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.
--Hermann Hesse

I really like writing this blog, but man, it takes a lot of effort to try to get a good post up every day. So I want to thank all my fellow bloggers who bleed and sweat on the keyboard pounding out post after post, day after day. Iggy said it best:

"Damn, you are only as good as your last post. And I keep pounding em out. It takes effort to put these rambling posts together. I may need a sabbatical soon."

Amen. Thanks to everybody pounding em out (uhh, the blogs, that is), you make my work day a lot more fun.

I didn't play today, so this post will probably be on the weak-tight side, but I do have a few things I think are worth writing about. I did play some last night, but I was just playing a single table and watching "American Idol" at the same time, so my concentration level was probably at about 30% of what it should be. I did manage to turn in a small profit in my hour of play, but most of the profit came from the ole Big Blind specials-- I flopped two pair in the BB twice, and made the table pay. I definitely have problems playing at a single table of $3-6 or lower, because the poker is so straightforward that I get bored easily. I should be working on my game, putting people on hands, and just absorbing the pattern of the game and storing it in memory for later use.

I've always been hesitant playing 2 tables at once, because you lose a lot of information, and therefore potential profit. Of course, if the poker is straightforward, even if you're playing at 75% of your optimum level, you still increase your profit by 50%.

The problem with this is that the players in the LA B&M games are considerably worse than those online. The $15-30 B&M games out here play like the $3-6 online games, and I've always viewed my online play as a training ground for these games. Well, a training ground and a place to build the bankroll. I need to put in the hours grinding at two tables of $3-6 to build up enough bank to get into these super soft B&M games. At 1.5 BB an hour on each table (tough, but I believe it's possible), that's $18 an hour. So after 200 hours, that's $3600, which would give me enough to play at the limit I want. Continuing the math here, if I was able to play 20 hours a week (if I was a real player), I could do it in only 10 weeks. Of course, this only works if lady variance treats me well. But looking at PokerTracker, I'm only averaging a little over an hour a day for the last 3 months. With my B&M hours, that puts me at about 10-13 hours a week.

13 hours ain't nothin, but it's not enough. I really would like to play more, but work has been kicking my ass lately, and I just haven't had the energy to endure the grind. But I do feel my discipline has gotten better, and my feel for the game is still improving, so hopefully I can increase my hours. I should probably just finish my damn book and cut down on poker, but I just can't help myself-- too many fish in the PartyPoker sea.

Six Degrees of Hammeration
Lots of hammer news. I'm a bit appalled that THE HAMMER has gotten its own section in a post, but this story is just too good to pass up.

In a previous post, I told you about my boy R-Dub, an up and coming poker star in Virginia. Today, R-Dub offered up this story (tighten up your seat belt):

"Alright I got a weird hammer story for you... Some guys from my tournament and some that live around got a 4-8 game going last night, pretty big for being mostly students, but a few of the better players couldn't make it, and it was real soft. About halfway through the night, a guy shows up who just started playing a few months ago, real easy to get a read on. He's also the type to remember any kind of beat you put on him, and complain and shit. All fold to me, I look down at a 72o in the small blind, and i've got to play it. One for the implied tilt odds, two because i think i can play any two cards against this guy for profit. So I raise it, he 3 bets from the big blind. I'm worried about a big pair, but that's even better if i can crack it... Flop is Q82, i check and call. Q on the turn, I'm ready to lay it down thinking i've only got 2 outs... He checks behind me and I'm sure he has AK. Blank on the river, I value bet my 27, he agonizes and calls with AK, which he always will. I show my 27, he starts with his usual shit, but this other guy at the table interrupts him by saying "Dropping the Hammer!"

So i ask him why it's called the hammer, since the only other place i'd heard that was from you... He says he used to play in this game in northern virginia, there was a player there who's last name was hammer. And he made some incredible bluff once with the 72, like he called the whole way with nothing and check raised all-in on the end, and from that day on they all called the hand "The Hammer"."

WOW! I don't think that quite qualifies for TFG's Tertiary Adjunct to the Hammer Challenge, but could this actually be the true origin of THE HAMMER??? I know Grubby is currently in DC, but could this be the same source of the naming of the mighty 72o?

Meme Evolution Diagram:

Johnny Hammer --> Grubby --> HDouble --> RDub --> Guy at RDub's Game
(N. Virginia) --> (DC) --> (LA) --> (VA) --> (VA)

I lost twice with the hammer last night, although I threw in a total of 8 big bets desperately trying to push people off of hands. Ironically, I flopped two pair with 72s in the BB, and was punished when a guy turned the dead man's hand for aces up. The hammer is hitting me over the head.

Check out Poker Penguin's full house with the hammer. He was even able to get a response out of the table. But luckily he was playing .50/1, so it's not an official victory.

Ugh. Just spent 15 minutes scrolling through horrible RGP posts. Where have you gone, Abdul Jalib, poker nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

I was amused to read about another hand that apparently is competing with the Hammer for popularity:

Finally, I found a good RGP post, which discusses the good and bad about my favorite poker tool (it's how I learned to play), Turbo Texas Hold 'Em. The big hole in TTH is that computer players are unable to use pot size in making decisions. For all of you programming geeks (like me) out there (Halverson and TFG, this means you), note the comparison between Programming Language generations and the Poker Simulator generations.

Time for bed. Keep up the great blogs and stay focused.

Pic of the day:
This is what it looks like when you drop the hammer

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