Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

Subscribe with Bloglines

My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


  • 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
  • 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
  • 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
  • 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
  • 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
  • 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
  • 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
  • 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
  • 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
  • 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
  • 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
  • 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
  • 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
  • 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
  • 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
  • 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
  • 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
  • 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
  • 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
  • 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
  • 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
  • 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
  • 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
  • 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
  • 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
  • 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
  • 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
  • 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
  • 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
  • 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
  • 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
  • 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
  • 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
  • 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
  • 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
  • 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
  • 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
  • 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
  • 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
  • 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
  • 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
  • 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
  • 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
  • 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007

  • Powered by Blogger

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    Big Fish, Little Fish

    A most enjoyable night at the tables the other night. Didn't plan on playing, but after I did my good deed for the night (went grocery shopping for my wife) I thought I deserved a little treat. Especially as she had me buy like 15 different vegetables and going thru the self-check line takes forever when you have to look up each veggie on the screen and weigh it and look the next one up...

    Actually, I could write a whole post about the new self-checkout lines at grocery stores. But not today. So I decide to play a $10 SNG (being a moron I've been playing the $5 ones, meaning I've been paying 20% juice instead of 10%, but I've finally seen the light). My computer can't load the NL tables fast enough so I've been playing pot-limit, which is fine by me, though the games take longer. Right off the bat a guy gets knocked out when he slow plays trips to the river and gets caught by a straight. A few hands later I do the same thing, guy flops trip queens, makes tiny bets to keep everyone around, and I hit my open-ended straight. We end up re-raising our way to all-in and I double up. A few hands later I hit a set, check-raise three players and get one guy to push all-in, and I add another T800 to my stack. It's been so long since I've had a big stack in a SNG that I almost don't know what to do.

    But only almost. We quickly get down to 4, meaning next guy out don't get paid. And these guys totally turtle on me. It was DELICIOUS. I raise, they fold. I bet on the flop, they fold. I think the game went on for 75 hands, and I won 47% of them. Plus two of the guys were Steeler fans and we kept up a happy chat during the game. When we finally got down to three I had T7000 and they other two each had around T500...with the blinds at 200-400. I had an ace each of the last two hands and busted them back-to-back. Fifty bucks in my account and I felt like King Poker. Fold and tremble before my mighty...might.

    But I know the danger of hubris, so I decided a humbling experience might be in order. So I sought out and found the blogger table--but this time, I intended to actually sit down and play. I went in with the attitude that if I lost my $25 buy-in, so be it--but I was going to play tight, tight, tight. I mean, I'm folding queens if there's a raise ahead of me, as of course there always is at this table of madness. This is not a game for the weak of heart. Or the fragile of liver.

    I was sitting on the edge of my chair, my focus laserlike. I just wanted to play a few orbits, maybe see a flop or two, and keep my losses around $5. So about 3 hands in I'm dealt KK in early position. I raise, and of course everyone immediately tosses their hands away, knowing I'm neither drunk nor skilled and must therefore have a monster. Only Otis refuses to respect mah authoritah and calls me. OK, I want a call, right? Right. Except that every time I watch the blogger table he's taking down pot after pot, and right now he's sitting on over a hundred bucks. The flop comes queen high, and I make a big bet, determined not to let him outplay me. He folds, I cancel "brown alert", and show down my cowboys. See, I'm setting up a table image here, I'm letting everyone think that I'm tight-weak. The fact that I AM tight-weak is besides the point, at least in my own mind. This will pay off for me later on.

    Of course Otis pulls out the needle and he knows exactly where to stick me. He casually tosses out the name Isabelle Mercier, whom he's seen in three-dimensions compared to my two, and I'm green with envy and weak-kneed to boot. So when I get dealt aces in the big blind and he makes a position raise, I come over the top for seven bucks. Perhaps I should have limped and tried to trap him, but I think it's more likely that in the end I'd be the trappee and not the trapper, and maybe he'll think that my re-raise is me antler-rattling in response to his taunts. He calls, and when the flop comes king-high I go flat-out loco and push all-in. Great bet, that, either he's gonna fold or he's gonna call me with the better hand. The fact that he folds is good in that I don't lose my whole stack, but had I played with a bit more style, a bit more panache, I might have won a bigger pot. Isabelle, I think, would not have been impressed with that play, and I hung my head in shame.

    That was about it for me, I didn't get a decent hand the rest of the way. Well, I got hands that play in the fishy preserves I usually frolic in, but as I mentioned at the time, you don't see a lot of "limp-check-check" at this table. Those sooted connectors everyone loves to play? Forget it, unless you want to call a $7 re-raise out of position.

    If you're trying to decide if you should sit down at a particular table, I think this is a good rule of thumb: If you dread the idea of getting a big starting hand, including aces, you probably should get up and walk away. I will definitely play at the blogger table again, when I think my game is a bit more up to speed. And I have a large supply of Tums. But for now I will stock up on malt vinegar and keep on fishing, and sharpen my teeth before I try swimming with the sharks. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

    Play Poker Online
    Play Poker Online at Full Tilt Poker
    Learn, Chat, and Play with the Pros at the fastest growing Online Poker Room.


    Play Poker Online at Blind Bet Poker. Bonuses and promotions by online poker rooms like Doyles Room, Titan Poker, Full Tilt Poker and Noble Poker. Poker strategy for beginners, advanced, and professional poker players. A poker terminology section, news & online poker tournaments.

    Poker Forums
    Definitive online poker portal, featuring a poker odds calculator, poker forums, an excellent poker bonus code section with deposit bonuses.

    Full Tilt Poker Freerolls
    Party Poker Strategy Guide

    The 2006 WSOP
    Total Coverage
    From the Urinals to the Hooker Bar



    Poker Savvy