No really, go ahead without me....

I’ve found something that is far worse than anything variance can throw at us my dear readers. I seem to have crossed over into a place called Donkeyland.

In Donkeyland, it doesn’t matter what is happening in the hand or how the betting has occurred along the way. Position is nothing more than how your butt feels in the seat at the table and value, is never related to anything to do with poker.

Here in Donkeyland, no raise amount, not even after a raise pre, a check-raised flop and the masterful C bet on the turn, can get a Donkey off his flopped pair of 3’s when there are only three over cards on the board. Yet almost certainly, utilizing the exact same strategy while holding say, pocket 8’s yourself, is guaranteed to get you at least 3 callers. All of whom will naturally be holding the coveted A-rag. In the real world, you’re probably about a 70% favorite before the flop is even dealt. But the odds calculator works entirely different here in Donkeyland. As I check the hand in question, the Donkeyland calculator shows the real percentages that are in play. The 8-8 is drawing completely dead. The Donkeyland odds calculator has factored in that there is still one whole Ace left in the deck, and only two of the other 8’s. I’ve also consulted with Donkeyland’s best selling author, A.T. Cards, and he advises that folding your pocket 8’s immediately after you get three callers is, “uber-advisable.” In his own words, “The three callers is a tell you see. It’s a dead give away that only three of the aces are in play. For heavens sakes man, are you daft? There’s still another entire Ace in the deck!” By the way for those of you that haven’t picked it up yet, A.T.’s book on Hold’em poker strategies and wisdom, “If you were dealt’em, you should play’em Hold’em.” is now available in most of the better bookstores out there.

In Donkeyland, there is never any mercy allowed for making a good play. They frown terribly upon those that start with a good hand and attempt to display strength. But even worse, they freely punish any player with an actual starting hand, who may be attempting to disguise its actual strength. Incidents recently noted here in Donkeyland include but are not limited to, re-donkulously disguised pocket Aces that went on to hit a set on the flop. The coy little check-raise was met with not only the call but of course, the runner-runner K-J to fill out the double gutter for the mighty Q-10 off-suit. Yet flopped straights here in Donkeyland, will always be gobbled up by runner-runner 10’s turn and river. Particularly after a check-raise and all-in announcement being called, by the mighty pocket 10’s UTG.

But if you think good play with good cards is the only way to get the maximum torture out of your visit here in Donkeyland, just wait until you try and make a move on one of your long-eared opponents! You will surely feel the full wrath of the Donkeyland over-lords, as they whisk away your chip stack with Ferrari like speed and agility. Swiftly, nimbly and with the deft skill of a surgeon, these Donkeyland over-lords will ensure you are called by every player at the table, when you decide to make that move. Then as precise as can be they will deliver a flop, that ensures you’ve hit your garbage and keep you in the hand to the end. Then the Donkeyland players will all stare at you in disbelief, as they realize you were trying to play with only top two pair. How is it possible, they’ll all wonder, that you could not see the rivered straight staring you right in the face?

To make matters much, much worse, it starts to get to you and change who you are and how you play. Its misery can seep into your soul, through contact with others that are stuck in its incredibly strong grip. We all know how dearly misery loves company, so Donkeyland does it’s very best to help you adjust and fit in. If you’re not careful, it will have you wielding the mighty hammer as proud as can be. Pocket Ducks will begin to look heaven sent and will command you to raise at least 10x the BB. Big slick will appear to become an even larger monster hand, with only a board of 9-10-J-8 showing.

It’s a relentless and un-yielding bottomless pit of hope turned desperation, this world known as Donkeyland. And I for one have had enough. I was merely looking for the boundaries or border at first, hoping to find my way clear of the grip it seemed to have on what’s left of my mind. Now I find myself merely hoping to see some form of light shining in, so I’ll at least know that there is an end to the tunnel. Getting in here was effortless. I fear getting out, now seems all but impossible. So I am down to my last resort at an attempt to free myself from the grasp of Donkeyland. I am going to just sit here and wait. Wait for what, I don’t know. But I feel that through no action by myself as the Donkeys continue to pass by, has to be infinitely more satisfying than taking or making action, as I sit at the table with a group of them.

So I now advise you all, I’m sitting this one out. Probably the next one, the next one and the one after that too. Hell, I may not ever be back if I can’t break the hold that Donkeyland has firmly on my very soul. But I do know one thing with the utmost of certainty, I’ll be so very much happier as I take my chances just sitting here......... waiting.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by….


Fathers.... (part III)

It's not that I forgot about this series at all. Honestly! It's just taken me some time to grasp the story I'm about to tell here. It's not easy. There's a reader that frequently stops by here, that is affected by the story in a way that's very personal.

If you're interested, here's where you can catch up.

Fathers (part I)
Fathers (part II)


First off, I've said it before and I'll say it again. Forgive me Father, but I'm about to sin.......... again.

Secondly, it takes a special kind of friend to bring these thoughts out of you in a positive manner. You know exactly who you are and I just can't say thanks enough. Your support and true friendship, will never be taken for granted. Like I said at my brother C.C.'s wedding, true friends are family you get to choose. It just doesn't get any better than that!


On a very special occasion not related to this story at all, but for the fact that it occurred at the beginning of the end of a relationship. My Mother's Brother, "Uncle Norm," took me out to the Coronation Hotel for a beer. I feel the need to explain, I was waaaaaay under-age. Fifteen to be exact. But as I said in the beginning of this series, it was a different time back then. So with the two of us sitting very casually but also very quietly out in the back corner of the Hotel, everything was right in Bedrock on that day.

Things changed dramatically, as some asshole and his group of misfits entered the bar, obviously looking for a reason to wind down, (or up) after a tough week of work for "the man." They were rugged and rough, loud and obnoxious and in a very eerie kind of way, cool and exciting. A group of James Dean wannabees all looking to have a good time. Each one constantly looking to out-do the other, in a coolest thing in the world contest to end all contests. A group of serious A types, before there was such a description ever uttered.

They played hard, they played rough and their very presence was enough to require not one but two, of the local Police to be present in the establishment. These were the original "Bad-Boys" of Bedrock. It was actually really cool to a kid looking to be 'something' down the road. Except for the edge that they seemed to carry around with them everywhere they went. It was totally inexplicable, but that edge was as real as the air I was breathing at the time. Something awful was about to happen. Even at the tender age of fifteen, I could sense that for myself. One look at my Uncle told me all I needed to know, it was going to happen soon. Even the Cops seemed on edge all of a sudden. Nothing good, was going to happen in the next ten minutes or so.

"What the hell is he doing in here?" came blasting across the room. It came from the asshole. He was obviously the coolest of the cool. It showed in his stance, his gate when he chose to move and it definitely came out quite clearly, in his booming omni-present voice. This guy was in charge!

Others started to mill about un-comfortably. Mind you, not feeling the same dis-comfort as I was at the time. But still, the place seemed frozen in the stench of fear, as this asshole raised his voice over the sounds of the Willy Nelson song, "Georgia," as it played not so delicately or clearly, in the background. To this day, I can sing and tolerate that song. But truth be told, I hate it with a passion. This asshole, was talking about me!

My Uncle stood and towered over the asshole in a clear display of strength and protection. Norm was a huge young man at the time. There were not many that would invade his space if he chose to show any signs of aggression. But most that really knew him, knew the gentle giant that lived within that gruff exterior. But this asshole didn't care. To him, I was an invader of his private domain. An outsider that just didn't belong. He showed absolutely no fear of the giant of a man that was standing in my defense. It was then that the strangest sensation not only ran through, but seemingly controlled every bone and nerve in my body. The sensation that told me, I needed to stand up for myself.

So I did. All 133 pounds that was me at the time. "What is your problem old man?" I squeaked out in my most manly of voices. "You are, you little shit!" came back at me from the asshole. It was said with such violence, that the words alone nearly sat me back down in my seat. There were other key points in the discussion, none of which are fit for print here, nore are reasonable or relevant to the issue at hand. It was just verbal abuse. Violent and un-carring verbal abuse. It came from both of us. It also came from all of those around. The scene was set and it was becoming abuntly clear, I was about to get into my first serious bar brawl. AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF FIFTEEN !

I clearly remember thinking to myself at the exact moment of the first punch being thrown, the advice of my Father should such a situation ever seem totally inevitable. "Your best defense son," he said, "is a strong offense." I threw the punch. It connected quite easily and cleanly, much to my amazement. So I threw another. This time, I caught complete air. The stinging sensation that followed, is something that despite the fact that I know I'll never be able to get it out of my head completely, is something I believe actually has to be experienced, to even come close to truly understanding. The asshole hit back! Not once, not twice, but three perfectly timed and quite well executed punches to the head. My head!

My initial reaction was slow and groggy. But eventually, the cobwebs cleared and I could see that everyone was right. Even back then, people stuck gum under the tables for some strange reason. I don't think I'll ever understand that concept. Oh and another thing, the beer on the floor really stunk! But all around me there was action. Others were seemingly tangled in a mass of bodies and flailing arms. This was obviously a bigger deal, then just me and the asshole.

My jaw and cheek hurt like hell. It donned on me suddenly, that I wish I had my Dad here right now. He'd take care of that asshole for sure. There was only one problem with that. My Father was the asshole!

At fifteen I should've been either working, in school or doing my homework. I had no right to invade his private sanctuary that was his time with the boys. That was my Dad's side of the story. He never had the patience to listen to mine. For 20 years, he never would hear it either. We had no contact other than family weddings and funerals for 20 years. The most we saw of each other in that 20 years, was that awful night of the fight. When some genius cop who couldn't make it out on the street thought we should spend that night in the same cell, as we rode out our jail time for our crime. Together we sat there. We sat there until we couldn't do it anymore. That fight ended the same way as the first one. With me on my ass and him towering above me in total domination. I didn't even get a punch in that time. By the time I moved my arm to represent an offense, I felt that sting that was still all to familiar from earlier on in the evening. He wins and I go my own way. End of story.

Or so I thought! At the beginning of our relationship, Peb's wouldn't let the situation lay. She was relentless! Not just on me either. But on the old man and our family as well. I won't tell you how many years it's been exactly, but suffice it to say she was right! The last few years with my Father have been some of the best years of my life. We've never talked about it since, nore do I wish to to be honest. We've become who we are because of that event, not in spite of it. It surely wasn't pretty and I can tell you, I hope that it never happens to anyone out there at anytime. But in silence comes clarity I guess. As we've both finally come to the realization that, we're far too old to fight about anything any more.

I love you Dad.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....

(Summer+Degeneracy)+(Friends+Peb's) = Way +EV....

It’s really starting to feel like Summer around Bedrock these days. Finally !!! In a discussion the other day with DonKaaa, we realized that we were wearing shorts back in the second week of April, but we had to wear pants and jackets to get out golfing just last week. The weather is just starting to “normal” out for us and it’s wonderful to feel the warm sun and breeze on some exposed skin once again. I liken it to a good old-fashioned battery charging, and you know what? I could use a little of that right now.

But it’s not just the weather you see. It’s a whole lot more. Last night for example, was one of those nights that help’s this kid enjoy all that there is to savor in a Bedrock Summer. Great friends in the form of DonKaaa and the beautiful Queen_K, my red hot Pebbles at my side and to make it all just right, being out on the golf course. There are a few times the four of us have gone out for a game of golf….. well……. let’s just say several of those stories won’t be making it out here on the interwebbie thingy. I’ll leave most of it up to you; the reader’s imagination, but I will say this. If you think we’re degenerates when it comes to props and wagers when we play poker, then we’re completely immoral and insoluble when it comes to our golf prop betting history. Absolutely nothing is safe or considered off limits, as our degeneracy can often hit all time high’s, ( Hmmmmm….. I guess that should be low’s huh?) where the vast majority of workers at the course are aware of what’s going on. You want motivation to hit a great golf shot? Consider if you will, your shorts and the use of them to get to the next tee blocks, may just be on the line! Yeah…… we’d better stop at that one. Many things in this foursome are way better left un-told and were far better lived, than any discussion or written word could ever possibly do them justice. And THAT my friends, is just how we roll.

So last night we officially started out our season long quest to out-play, out-wit and out-prop each other at every given opportunity. Mercifully for me at 4 over par, it was a quiet first night. A quick check after the round found me fully dressed and completely dry. And aren’t they two of the key points every golfer’s looking for after a round of golf? Everyone actually came out of the first “real” round of the year, relatively un-scathed. At first I wondered if this was the start of getting old or even worse, a sign of us GROWING UP! But I don’t think I really need to worry about that too much. I just can’t see that ever happening with this crowd. I think I’ll chalk it up to everyone not being too certain of the state of his or her game. Although the girls certainly didn’t show any signs of concern, as they both continually blasted the long bombs off of the standard men’s white tee blocks, time and time again. Please don’t tell Peb’s and Queen_K everyone. But DonKaaa and I always get some of our best enjoyment out of watching the looks on some of the guy’s faces, as the two of them blast it 250 down the center seemingly at will. They are without a shadow of a doubt, the best scramble partners any golfer could ever dream of. Of course, we make them hit from the reds in those situations. (HEY !! They got "the parts!)

My +4 was the result of a couple of errant shots totally related to the time of year and lack of any type of practice at all yet. I also missed a couple of key 4 footers that I really should be making at any time of the year. DonKaaa settled in at +2 for the round and he could have improved that quite considerably, had he been able to get a putt on the correct line on several of his legit birdie chances. Great weight every single putt, he just couldn’t seem to get the ball on line a few times. Based on our games as played last night, I’d have to say this could be one of the best seasons of golf for each of us in the works and that’s pretty damn exciting.

But based on the props that I know are just around the corner, I guess I’d better start practicing again! It’s obviously time to pull the socks up Bam-Bam! Or else you just might be pulling something else down !!!

My sincerest thanks for dropping by….


Playing with your wife....

On several occasions over the last week or so, I've had the privilege of sitting at the computer with Peb's, as she plays a game of poker or two. I have basically taken one important thing away from this wonderful experience.


To say we have a slightly different "style" of play, is kind of like saying, there's a bit of a difference between Ketchup and Tabasco.

Now don't get me wrong, she is very successful and having a great run right now in her favorite on-line money making game. In fact, she's tripled up her bankroll in the last three weeks or so, and I am incredibly proud of her for that. It's just so different from my style, that sometimes it can be downright scary to watch.

As you would expect, sitting together while she's in control of the thought making process, can lead to some 'healthy' discussions regarding the decision she has, or is about to make. These discussions are stellar.

Bam - "What the hell are you thinking?"
Pebbles - "What?"
Bam - "Seriously! Why the hell would you call that bet?"
Pebbles - "What do you mean?"
Bam - "I mean, that's the third bet out into the pot and well, you're not exactly holding the nutz there Peb's!"
Pebbles - "Yeah, so?"
Bam - Well. I'm just trying to say..................
Pebbles - "Yay!! I win!
Bam - Yes, I know you won but I want to know what you were thinking when you called.
Pebbles - "I was thinking those ribs you made for dinner were great!"
Bam - "Good Lord!"
Pebbles - "Come on honey! Look at my notes on the guy. Any ace is pretty and he'll play it like the nutz, all the way down. You need to learn how to read people better."
Bam - "WTF ? How do you 'read' people on line?"
Pebbles - "I don't exactly know to be honest. You just do."
Bam - You're telling me, that woman's intuition is in play here?"
Pebbles - "Maybe."
Bam - "Why did you just raise there?"
Pebbles - "They'll fold. .............. See!"

and just a bit later.....

Bam - OK!!! Try explaining that move to me? I dare you!"
Pebbles - "What move?"
Bam - "Jamming the pot with the nutz, with three other players in the hand. Why scare'em away?"
Pebbles - "I'll get at least two call........ahem... See!"
Bam - "I need a drink!"

**note** - Ever so slight use of my creative license, to embellish the seemingly 'blondness' of my darling wife. It's my blog! Besides, those that know her and have played against her, know the real truth anyhow!

Now the fun part really isn't in how she's playing or what style she's using at the time. The fun part truly is, trying to understand the logic behind the things she does. Lord knows, she can't seem to find the words to describe it to me so I'll understand. And this is where we come to a bizarre realization that, I'm no good at that either. Neither one of us can properly explain our NLHE poker game styles and strategies to the other. Pick another game, any game! Golf, Euchre, STUD, Baseball, Volleyball, hell.. fishing! We have completely coherent discussions where it is very clear to both of us, what the other is thinking at any given moment.

My darling Pebbles has taught me so many wonderful things over our time together, that I'll never be able to thank her enough for everything she's done to improve me as a man. I would hope that I've at least been able to help her out in somewhat the same fashion as we've gone along in our fantastic life together. Both of us have been very successful over the course of our poker development, both on-line and in the live games. But there is one thing for absolute certain when it comes to NLHE poker strategies and our styles of play.....

Peb's is from Venus and Bam is from Mars.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....


Uhhhh.... Tournament Director to final table please......

OK "Real Playa's"........

Here's a doozy for you!!!!

Four handed, final table of the home game MTT.

$200 antes and blinds are $500 / $1000.

UTG makes it $4000 to go and it folds around to the BB.

BB takes his time and decides to call. He also announces a blind "check."

Since it's PRE-FLOP,... UTG announces, ALL-IN."



Please put your best T.D. hat on and answer the question honestly.
Remember... verbal bets are binding of course. BUT there's ACTION, albeit verbal action. With "action," do the cards get dealt, or does the BB need to address the "action" before anything else happens?

I'm counting on the "real" NLHE experts to get this right.

What should happen next?

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....