Archive for February, 2007


Snow? Seriously?

Well, the snow is approaching…um, it’s here. So we’ve decided to leave about 9 hours early to try and stay ahead of the weather. Hopefully we’ll make it to Portland if the roads aren’t bad. We’ll then try to head east on I-84. If that doesn’t work, then we’re heading further south and will cut across as needed. See you in Vegas baby!



Selling shares of myself turned out to be like the airline business – oversold. :) Thanks again to everyone who bought shares – it’s awesome to have your support! I set out to sell 45 shares (originally I thought 20 would be enough), and ended up selling 60! I reduced my ownership to 65 so the total number of outstanding shares is still 125. Here’s the final list of the shareholders for the record:

Brian Williams

Bob Kilzer

Brien Roell

Craig Cook
Panos Panay

Sherry Crayne
Pete Kyriacou
Andrew Nielsen

Mark Asplund
Marlys and Ed Bernard
Brett Kelleran
Robin Lim
Joseph Ngari
Brett Ostrum
Art Whitten

1 Share
Steven Bathiche
Rob Brigham
Andy Cargile
Christina Chen
Frank Gonzalez
Kelly Kimura
Carlos Manzanedo
Alan Packer
Michael van Raders
Chris Whytock


Final Home Game Before Vegas

The final home game was a ton of fun. So much fun in fact that we played until 4:10am. I seriously needed to eat breakfast after that. I’m still so tired I can hardly remember any of the key hands. I remember that Kelly "Kickass" Kimura was running over the table for the first 2 hours and then for the last 2 hours walking away over $300 up. This may have been the largest profit ever from our game. Of course it was the largest buy-in ever at $100 and .50/1 blinds. Great game.

Stevie Goes Broke Again
In all fairness, the title of this section should have read: Brian Gives Back Stevie’s Money From Last Week. But, alas, the poker gods had it in for Stevie this week again. Things got a little crazy with a $2 straddle, and then $3, $4, and $5 re-straddles with myself being the $5 idiot. Stevie was to my left and limped in as did several others and all but one of the blinds and straddles completed. I looked down at A6o and raised to $25 expecting to take it down. Stevie called too quickly for comfort. Everyone else folded. The flop was all low cards. I pushed all in for another $60, and Stevie called very quickly. I knew I was beat. He turned over pocket Queens and I’m drawing very thin – either runner runner straight or I need to see an Ace. I jokingly asked if he wanted to make a deal. He declined (obviously), and I turned the Ace for the win. Sorry Stevie.

AK Almost Wins
I hadn’t seen many good cards during the first few hours and I finally looked down to see AKs diamonds. Mark had opened the pot with a raise to $3. I re-raised to $11. Everyone folded and Mark called – although he didn’t have much left in his stack. The flop came 3Q3 with 2 diamonds. Mark checked, I put him all in and he called. He flipped up AJ (no diamonds). He’s now got 2 cards in the deck to help him. The turn was one of them – a non-diamond Jack. Ugh. I still have a lot of outs. The river was a diamond. Unfortunately it was also a Jack giving him a full house and leaving me with the nut flush and less chips.

A little while later, I had AK again. Mark had AJ. Board was xTxTJ, and AJ beats AK again. Granted I played this hand horribly as I didn’t bet the flop after raising, so this one was my fault.

River Love
Mark called Joseph’s large all in bet with a board of 3567. Joseph showed T7 and Mark showed K8. The river as you might imagine since it’s Mark aka "River Love" was a King. While this looks like a bad beat, it’s not as bad as it appears. Mark is almost a 32% favorite to win. While the bet he called didn’t quite offer the pot odds he needed, he GAMBOOLED it up and took it down.

All in all we had a great time, and played ourselves to sleep (I think Robin actually fell asleep at the table at least once. :) ). Hopefully we’ll be able to get a game together in Vegas for a weekend, otherwise, we’ll have a big game in late May or early June when we get back!


What We Saw When the Blinds Went Up

Poker. Real Poker. That’s what we saw. :) Last night, the buy in was still $50 but the blinds went from .25/.50 to .50/1, and what a difference it made.

We were supposed to have an eleven or even twelve person table, but three people bagged out so we had a table of 9 which was perfect. On to a few of the hands…

Huge Pot
There’s really no other way to start this post then with the biggest hand we’ve ever seen. Someone put a $2 live straddle on. Chris raised to (only) $4, Ryan called as did a few others. Approximately $20 in the pot. Flop was AT8 with 2 clubs. Chris checks, Ryan bets $15 and it folds back to Chris who announces raise. I pull in the $15 as Chris grabs a huge stack of red and counts out $50 for the raise. And then it seems as if time slowed down…by the time Chris finished saying "Fifty", Ryan had announced "All In" for another $60+, and by the time he said "All In", Chris had already called. Set over set. Chris with AA, and Ryan with TT. Brutal. The pot had over $270 in it which is about double our previous big one. After this pot, we actually had to give him green $25 chips so others could buy in and have red ones. Nice hand Chris.

StevieB Goes Broke
A few other interesting hands of the night. One limper, raise to $3, I call with KQo, and StevieB raises to $6. Everyone calls. Flop is beautiful – K7Q rainbow. Stevie is first to act and bets $10. Everyone folds to me. I raise to $40. Stevie calls. Turn is a T. Not my favorite card, but I’m going all in as Stevie has less than 25 left. He calls and shows AK. River is a T which scared me as during the hand I was thinking he might have AA and my 2 pair would have been counterfeited.

Drawing Thin to Dead
I found AJo in late position and raised to $4. Several callers and the flop came down 2AT rainbow. It was checked to me and I bet $15. Everyone folds to the new player in our game who raises to $30. I’m scared of 2 pair here but don’t think he has anything or maybe a weak Ace. I say "I think it’s all going to the middle anyway" and push my stack (except the $5 protecting my cards). He thinks for a while and calls. He’s got $4.50 left. Turn is a K. Not really a card I wanted to see. He checks. I toss in my last $5 and he calls. He shows K3o, and river isn’t a K or a 3. Crazy.

Later in the night with a raise preflop from Panos, the board came Q7Q. New player bet, Panos called. Turn was a 7. New player bet 40% of his stack. Panos put him all in, and he called. Panos showed JJ and the new guy was drawing dead with 96s spades.

Overall, it was a great night with a lot of great poker being played. Oh yeah, and Stevie drank Champagne! :P


Poker IPO Progress

Wow. That’s pretty much the only word to describe the response to the IPO offering. Originally I had thought about selling 20 shares, but moved it to 45 after someone said they were going to likely buy 10. The original 20 would have been gone within minutes of the mail. The mail has actually made its way to friends of friends who are excited and want in. Very cool! And in exactly 2 weeks from today, we’ll be on the road to Vegas. I can’t wait!


The Infamous Poker Rules

Tonight is poker night – we’ll have a full crowd and likely some good stories for the blog. I sent out the infamous poker rules with a "Poker Rules for Dummies" graphic that Angie made. :)

In case you wanted to read the rules again:

1) If a card is exposed during the deal (even if only to one other person), it will be announced as in the muck and then used as the burn card (unless 2 cards in a row are required to be dealt to person with the exposed card). If more than one card is exposed during a deal, it is a misdeal.

2) If the dealer forgets to burn a card (before the flop, turn or river), the burn card is exposed to all players, announced and then placed in the muck. The correct card(s) are then used for the board cards.

3) If your hand is exposed during the hand (i.e. you show them or accidentally flip your cards up after the deal), your hand is dead and goes in the muck. The exception to this is when you are heads up – then you may expose your cards as you choose.

4) A player’s cards must be clearly visible to all players (not hidden behind chip stacks, your hands, or taken off the table).

5) Your highest chip denomination must be clearly visible to all players.

6) Players are responsible for protecting their cards. Place a chip or other object on your cards at all times. Unprotected cards that are mucked by the dealer will remain mucked.

7) In cash games, if someone leaves during their blinds, we play so that everyone pays their blind each revolution.

8) You do not have to post a blind to receive your first hand if you arrive after the game has started.

9) Raises must be at least double the last raise amount. Example: Big blind is $1. First player raises to $3. The minimum legal raise for the second player would be to raise to $5 which is double the last raise of $2.

10) Unless you state an amount you are raising to in advance, you have one motion with which to make your raise. You may not go back for more chips (string bet or string raise).

11) Placing an oversized chip in the pot is a raise unless you state it as a call. (Example: If the bet is $2 and you throw a single $5 chip in, it is a raise.)

12) It’s good practice to say your action first, such as call or raise.

13) Verbal action is binding in turn. If you say raise, you must make at least the minimum raise. If you say call, you must call and cannot raise.

14) If you fold your hand out of turn, it remains in the muck.

15) If you fold your hand when you could have checked, it remains in the muck.

16) Don’t scatter the pot.

17) Players should never touch another person’s chips or the chips in the pot. Ask the dealer for a count of someone else’s chips.

18) Players should not announce the amounts of other player’s bets. Ask the dealer for a count. You can, of course, announce your own bet amount.

19) In Pot Limit games, the pot will be announced by the dealer. In No Limit games, the pot will never be counted or announced by the dealer, nor should it be announced by any other player.

20) If you aren’t in the hand, do not discuss any of the action or call rule infractions on other players. This is the dealer or players in the hand responsibility and only their responsibility.

21) Discussing board possibilities or mucked cards is strictly prohibited (even if you’re only whispering to your neighbor who’s not in the hand). The exception is when you are heads up and are talking to your opponent.

22) Discussing a person’s tendencies, betting patterns, over bets, possible bluffs, etc. is strictly prohibited while the current hand is in play (even if you are no longer in the hand). The exception is when you are heads up and are talking to your opponent. Say what you want when the hand is over. J

23) Basically, if you aren’t in the current hand, don’t talk about it in any way.

Rules 20-23 have been presenting an issue, so moving forward a warning will be issued for the first violation. The second violation will result in $1 added to the current pot from that player’s stack. The third violation will result in $5 being added from that player’s stack to the current pot.


The Poker IPO

After several friends expressed interest in giving me money and having me play for them, I sent the following email out today. We’ll see how it goes.

Hi all (everyone bcc’d to avoid reply all),

As you know Angie and I are temporarily “moving” to Las Vegas from March – May for my sabbatical. We’ve rented a home in SW Vegas and are preparing for our journey. Angie will be working remotely for Microsoft and I will be playing poker as “my job”. For some of you, this mail will seem ludicrous – please feel free to just delete it. There is zero pressure. I’m sending this because it has been suggested to me by more than 4 different people and it seems like a fun idea.

Ok, so what’s the idea?
During my sabbatical I intend to play poker as if it was my job. In other words, I’m going to be a poker pro for 3 months. And during that time, I’ve going to sell a part of my action (in other words – my earnings). I’m selling shares of myself for $100 each. I’ve already purchased 80 shares. The current plan is to sell 45 more (any shares not purchased will be bought by me or just deleted). You can buy as many as you’d like until they are sold. The cumulative total will be my poker “bankroll” for my trip. It will be used exclusively and only for poker play (no blackjack, slots, video poker, etc).

What’s all this “bankroll” jibber jabber?
Bankroll management is a serious affair in poker. It’d take a lot of room to fully explain it here. The goal of a bankroll is to help you play at a limit where even with the swings in luck, your skill can overcome it and you will never go broke. The important thing to note is that for a trip like this you want about 25 buy-ins of the game you are playing. The main game I’ll be playing has a buy-in of $500. 25*500 = $12,500, which is why there are 125 shares total (125*100 = $12,500).

Um, so why would I invest?
Well, there are two reasons. The first reason is because I’m going to “live my dream” and for whatever reason (you love poker, you’re my friend, both, etc.) you want to be a part of it too. I intend to blog my experience daily including important hands, people I meet, funny stories, exact stats on the bankroll, etc. So you’ll get to see exactly what’s going on the whole time. The second is because you believe I’m a good enough poker player to earn a return on your money for you. (As many of you know, I’ve played more than 350,000 hands of poker and have statistically proven I’m able to earn money. However there are no guarantees. I could still lose money as a three month trip is considered a “short term” trip in poker terms.)

Ok, so how does it work?
Well, the idea came about after people asked about it. I did some research and Greg Raymer (2004 WSOP Champion) did a similar deal (only his share price was higher at $500). (See here on Question #8 for info.) I just copied the details of his deal. If there is a profit, the first 35% will go to me for my time/effort. The remaining 65% will be divided equally between the shares. The deal will begin on March 1st and end on May 31st. Here are a few examples to illustrate it more clearly:

Assume: 100 shares at $100 each = $10,000 bankroll.

If you bought 1 share and on May 31st the bankroll is $20,000, you’d get back $165. (Profit of $10,000. I take the first $3500 (35% of only the profit for my time) which leaves $6500 profit. Divide by 100 shares and your profit is $65. Add the $100 for your original share and you get $165.)

If you bought 1 share and on May 31st the bankroll is $30,000, you’d receive $230. Math is left to the reader. :)

If you bought 1 share and on May 31st the bankroll is $10,000 or less, you’ll get the bankroll divided by the number of shares you bought.

What will you be playing?
As a part of this deal, I will be playing only No Limit Hold Em. I will mostly be playing cash games, but will occasionally play in tournaments.

Cash Games
1/2 Blinds (Max buy in $200-$500).
2/4 Blinds (Max buy in $400).
3/6 Blinds (Max buy in $600).
3/5 Blinds (Max buy in $500). This will be the main game I play in.
5/10 Blinds (Max buy in $1000+). I will occasionally play in this game.

No Limit: Buy-ins up to $500 + fee. The majority will either be freerolls (free entry for playing so many hours at a certain casino), or $100-$200.

What to do if you’re interested
Please respond as soon as possible (no later than Feb 21st) to this mail letting me know if you intend to purchase shares. (I’m also grateful if you just reply and tell me you aren’t interested so I know who still hasn’t read this. :) ) And then either write me a check or give cash. Sorry, no credit cards accepted.